Grand opening of Cathedral Village in Portland St. Johns neighborhood
On September 20, we celebrated 110 new affordable rental units in the Portland St. Johns neighborhood at the grand opening of Cathedral Village. Oregon Housing & Community Services was a funding partner on this project. Councilmember Mary Li gave remarks at the event. "Accomplishments like this only happen with many hands to the work and we (OHCS and the Housing Stability Council) are thankful to be part of the circle that works so diligently to bring this work to life. When you reflect on what has been achieved the past 18 months, this is a miraculous moment," said Councilmember Li.
"In this process, it starts with listening. When we listen, we can start to hear the stories of the people, families, and children, who are going to live and thrive in these units, in this building, and in this community. With great joy, to the people and families who will live at Cathedral Village, welcome home." Congratulations to all the organizations and community partners who made this project come to life.
2022 Supportive Housing Institute reveals nine new permanent supportive housing projects
Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS) and the
Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH) announced nine innovative projects that emerged from the third
Oregon Supportive Housing Institute (SHI). The SHI is designed to increase the pipeline and supply of quality affordable housing paired with comprehensive support services. The nine project teams from across the state met over five months for intensive training and technical assistance to develop permanent supportive housing (PSH) projects. Permanent supportive housing is a national model that effectively serves individuals and families experiencing long-term homelessness. By providing on-site, individualized services, PSH leads to cost savings in public systems, particularly within healthcare and justice systems, and long-term housing stability for vulnerable households. Governor Kate Brown, OHCS Executive Director Andrea Bell, and CSH Director Deborah De Santis gave remarks.
Innovative housing solutions shared at Oregon Veteran Housing Network webinar
Veterans, businesses, community-based organizations, and government agencies gathered virtually to share ideas and solutions around veterans experiencing homelessness at the
Oregon Veteran Housing Network webinar on innovative housing solutions in August 2022. The event was hosted by the Oregon Veteran Housing Network, which is a partnership with Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS), U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs (ODVA). Over 100 people attended the diverse gathering. OHCS gave updates on several funding programs that provide resources and pathways for veterans toward homeownership or other housing options. Community partners showed what housing solutions for veterans looked like in their communities with affordable housing funding.
Grand opening of The Nel and House America partnership
On August 1, we celebrated the grand opening of The Nel, a new apartment building with 45 residential units and onsite support services such as access to food, transportation, mental health support, laundry services, and more for people experiencing chronic homelessness. Andrea Bell, OHCS Director, spoke at the grand opening reiterating housing as a critical determinant of health and that we must take every action necessary at a national, state, and local level to ensure people have a safe and affordable place to call home. Congratulations to Homes for Good, the City of Eugene, Lane County Government, and many other community partners and members who made this new affordable rental housing complex possible.
We are also excited to be a part of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development House America, an all-hands-on-deck approach to solving homelessness compassionately and equitably. Understanding that local organizations and community members already know how to solve homelessness in their communities, House America commits to providing the federal resources needed to rehouse individuals and families. Under the national goals laid out by House America, Oregon is committing to re-house 3,500 people and fund the creation of 214 permanent supportive homes by the end of 2022, including small towns and rural communities in the state.
Viewfinder affordable housing opening
Director Bell celebrated the grand opening of the Viewfinder, an affordable apartment building in Tigard. Many partners made these 81 affordable homes possible, including Community Development Partners, Washington County, Oregon Housing Authority, Good Neighbor Center, and many others.
OHCS homeownership programs help veterans buy their first homes
Thanks to nearly $745,000 in OHCS' Home Ownership Assistance Program (HOAP) funds, 54 veterans have been able to purchase their first homes. For the first time, OHCS’ recent Down Payment Assistance Program offered HOAP funds specifically for veterans who are also first-time homebuyers.
The recently closed program provided 414 households with over $6 million in down payment assistance to purchase homes with HOAP and Construction Excise Tax (CET) funds awarded to 19 organizations throughout the state. Fifty percent of these first-time homebuyers, who received an average of $14,754, reported as people of color, helping to reduce the homeownership gap and increase generational wealth.
Homebuyers receiving down payment funds attended homebuyer education and one-on-one counseling to achieve their goal of homeownership successfully. In addition, OHCS’ 17 partnering homeownership centers offered counseling and education on pre-purchasing and financial literacy. Homeownership centers are located throughout the state and offer post-purchase and default counseling for those needing additional assistance, as well as tips and resources to maintain their home.
Mamook Takatee ribbon-cutting
Executive Director Bell recently attended the Mamook Takatee ribbon-cutting event. This 56-unit development serves the Native community in Portland’s Cully neighborhood and is sponsored by
Native American Youth and Family Center (NAYA), the
Siletz Tribe, and
Community Development Partners. Mamook Takatee translates to “Make Beautiful,” a fitting name for this space that celebrates Native American culture through art while providing space for community programs and art creation. OHCS is deeply honored to contribute to this partnership.
Bridge Meadows intergenerational community visit
In April, OHCS Executive Director Bell had the opportunity to visit Bridge Meadows in Redmond, Oregon. This intergenerational community has ten affordable homes for families with foster children and 26 apartments for older adults, a communal kitchen where residents can cook and share meals together, and a community center with on-site services. The elders are mentors and friends to the youth, fostering meaningful connections for aging Oregonians while providing much-needed stability for our kids. OHCS is proud to help fund this truly trauma-informed community.