within REACH a healthy community begins at home
REACH Community Development Fall 2015 Edition
Photo: Matt Giraud
s my family left Portland for Seattle on Thanksgiving Day, we saw the tents along the highway, a dispiriting and familiar sight. And then just a mile from downtown in Seattle, more tents, a cluster on a steep embankment next to I-5, a
Yet at REACH we don’t think experience is our worst enemy. We’ve learned too many good lessons – especially the value of consistently durable construction and well managed properties. For example, many of our new buildings open with funded replacement reserves in place to maintain the building in future years. The great martial artist Bruce Lee summarized this simply: “long-term
terribly stressful place to Dan Valliere live. It is clear -- we have a national housing crisis on our hands. Market rents for apartments in Portland and Vancouver have increased a whopping 9% since this time last year and rents are continuing to climb. This is an unprecedented pace of change. J. Paul Getty, the famous business leader, said: “In times of rapid change, experience could be your worst enemy.” And this Fall, local governments are departing from business as usual: Declaring a housing state of emergency in Portland, new tenant protection rules in Vancouver and Portland, and major new City and County investments in Multnomah County. A year ago, our experience said these things were not possible, but now they are. This is welcome news. There is also a push to speed up construction of new affordable housing and to stretch public dollars by lowering the cost of new development. REACH, for its part, is finding ways to lower cost, both in up-front costs and ongoing operating costs.
consistency trumps short-term intensity.” We teach this lesson in REACH’s Budget, Buy & Save course -- sticking to a consistent savings plan is the best way to build personal assets (see article in this newsletter). Similarly, sticking to a consistent plan is the best way to solve the housing crisis. What has been missing for years is the public will and public resources needed to increase the pace of affordable housing development. Some local governments are now taking dramatic action. State government needs to lift restrictions on inclusionary zoning, to push private developers to join in the solutions. And the federal government needs to reform housing policies that currently invests more in the mortgage interest deduction for upper-income homeowners than it does in affordable housing. Facing this housing crisis, let’s change our public systems. And let’s build upon what has been proven to work.
systemic changes that are . . .
CONNECT with housing advocates through the Oregon Housing Alliance
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BRINGING US CLOSER TO THE END OF HOUSING INEQUITY
ENDORSE the Welcome Home Coalition and support affordable housing opportunities
STAY INFORMED just like youâ€™re doing by keeping up with REACH. Tell a friend, send them a link.
Make A Wish
old your breath; make a wish … count Molly to make a plan for achieving their goals. 1 to 3. Through REACH’s IDA program, After completing this course residents can apply residents have the opportunity to receive for and open their IDA account at a participating $3 for every $1 that they save. This can mean up financial institution. to $12,000 to spend toward expanding a small REACH accesses matching funds for our business, purchasing a new home or going back IDA savers through a long-term partnership with to school. Because of this program, dreams are CASA of Oregon, a member of the Oregon IDA literally becoming reality for residents who take Initiative. The statewide Initiative is managed control of their financial future and set long-term by Neighborhood Partnerships, with leadership goals. Individual Development Accounts, or from the State of Oregon, Oregon Housing IDAs, make all of this a possibility. and Community Services Department, and the IDAs are an asset building tool designed to Oregon Department of Revenue. The 2015 empower low-income families and help increase Oregon Legislative Session extended funding their financial resilience. Funds raised through for the IDA Initiative until 2022, increased the an IDA can help purchase a home, pay for overall funding available, and added additional career-related training or technology, or serve savings categories like purchasing a car and as a launching point for starting or growing a saving for retirement. With enrollment in small business. When REACH’s program What a great step forward in my life! This residents learn about nearly doubling over is just fantastic! I realize that the real the program from Molly the past three years, work is just beginning. It is truly great McGlone, our Economic we’re looking forward that I am finally growing and actualizing Empowerment to serving even more again! (Scott, IDA Participant) Coordinator, they don’t residents because believe her. She often of this successful hears, “You believe in me enough to give me statewide expansion effort. a 3-to-1 match on my dream?” And she can Our 36 current IDA participants are on track happily say, “Yes, we do.” to save a total of $97,680 which translates to IDAs are offered through collaboration $292,950 in matching funds earned. In addition between financial institutions and local nonprofit organizations like REACH. We recruit participants for the program and provide financial education classes as well as additional training based on the participant’s goals. During our financial education course called Budget, Buy & Save, residents focus on the basics of financial wellness including creating a budget, tracking spending, identifying strengths within themselves, and building credit and a relationship with a bank or credit union. Class participants create a longterm financial vision and work one-on-one with within REACH newsletter
to successfully purchasing their asset, program graduates also report positive changes in their financial behaviors and greater confidence when it comes to financial matters. And this confidence has ripple effects on the broader community. The ‘ripple effects’ shared in our residents’ feedback reflects the broader and more farreaching results for individuals, families, and communities. This program inspires hope by investing in the personal and financial growth of our neighbors and building a stronger and more inclusive economy. FALL 2015
2015 Donor Dinner
n October 22nd nearly 430 people joined REACH as we brought Paula Poundstone in to bring a little humor to housing and raise money to support our programs. With the help of our generous donors and sponsors we raised over $180,000! We premiered our latest video, More Than Housing, featuring the need for affordable housing in our region and how REACH is responding through housing development and services for our residents. Yolanda shared her journey to REACH housing and the role REACH has played in her life. We invited
Photography: Al Stern
guests to join REACH and the Welcome Home Coalition in seeking policy changes that will address our regional housing crisis. Paula had the room in stitches as she interacted with audience members (including Commissioner Fritz!) for her improv performance, bringing some humor into housing. To say it was a night to remember is putting it mildly. Thank you—to our donors, volunteers and sponsors for a memorable evening. We’re proud to count you among our friends. We couldn’t do it without you!
Isabella Court Breaks Ground!
n November 20, 2015, REACH Community Development officially broke ground on its first Vancouver senior housing project, Isabella Court, bringing much needed affordable sustainable housing
is proud to partner with REACH in bringing much needed affordable housing to Vancouver and our senior population.” Designed by MWA Architects and being built by TEAM Construction, Isabella Court will be constructed to the Evergreen Sustainable Development Standard (ESDS) with its focus on energy efficiency and promotion of sustainable living. Some of the key amenities include large community room with kitchen and pantry, upper floor lounges, fitness equipment, on-site laundry, elevator, back patio area, community garden with shed, and
to Clark County, Washington. Isabella Court is strategically located on the Fourth Plain Corridor to address an area that is underserved for seniors but with great accessibility to a wide range of services, emphasizing REACH’s commitment to affordable living. The site is located along new planned infrastructure improvements with the local Bus Rapid Transit and is within the Central Vancouver Neighborhood Revitalization Area. As Vancouver’s population outpaces the housing supply, there is a growing shortage of rental housing affordable to seniors living on a low or fixed income. REACH is addressing this demand by building Isabella Court, the first of a two-phased housing development with rents affordable to residents earning 60% of area MFI or less. Ten units will have project based Section 8 vouchers targeted to households earning 30% of MFI (Median Family Income) or less. Rents at the 49-unit Phase I building will range from $730-$866/month. “Vancouver is experiencing an unprecedented demand for rental housing, particularly that is affordable to low-income residents,” says Mayor Tim Leavitt. “The City
sunshades for windows. All units are adaptable with additional units constructed to address motor and sensory accessibility. The $12.48 million project is financed with funding from Citi Community Capital, City of Vancouver Community and Economic Development, Clark County Community Services, Enterprise Community Partners, Housing Development Center Community Fund, Impact Capital, NeighborWorks® America, Raymond James Tax Credit Funds Inc., U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Vancouver Housing Authority, Washington State Department of Commerce, Washington State Housing Finance Commission. Construction will take approximately twelve months to complete. This will be REACH’s sixth project in Washington. “The location of Isabella Court, near stops for the Vine and with great accessibility to a wide range of amenities, means it could significantly reduce barriers to accessing critical services for our senior residents,” says CEO Dan Valliere. “We are thrilled to be building in Vancouver and help provide affordable housing options to seniors in this great City.”
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Holiday Toy Drive
EACH is once again stepping up to help make sure that our youngest residents are able to have a happy holiday season. Our community and partners showed a huge support last year and we were able to get presents and gift cards into the hands of 213 young people! We are expecting to help even more people this year. There is an Amazon Wish list available to buy from directly or get an idea of the kinds of items we are looking for. If you would like to make a donation, you are welcome and encouraged to drop off to our collection box at Grayâ€™s Landing Apartments (4150 SW Moody Portland OR, 97229) or contact Angie Lancaster at 503-501-5732 to make arrangements. Thank you for making this the biggest giveaway in REACH history!
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elcome to Ann Bourget, Building Monitor; Jorge Carballo, Building Monitor; Amanda Cullum, Community Manager; Joel Dixon, Maintenance Technician; Kayla Drake, Resident Services Youth Coordinator; Carmen Franklin-Martinez, Community Manager; Barbara Jones, Building Monitor; Nia Jones, Resident Services Summer Intern; Thalia Martinez-Parker, Community Builders Program Coordinator; Linda Redford, Building Monitor; Leanna Steiner, Maintenance Technician; John Winner, Community Manager. Â§ www.reachcdc.org
A Tearful Farewell
n September we said good bye to our Chief Financial Officer of 23 years, Joan Cook. For more than two decades Joan has been responsible for ensuring the integrity of financial reporting, leading strategic financial planning, and conducting financial analyses of cash flow, debt, and investments for REACH. Joan managed the treasury functions, accounting, budgeting, and audit and tax processes for REACH and its affiliates. Prior to joining REACH, Joan served as a staff accountant at Alten Sakai & Company, CPAs and in a variety of fiscal management and business officer positions. Joan has been a licensed CPA since 1991. She holds a BS from Portland State University. Joan said, “I will miss all of you. I really have had the best job in Portland for the last 23 years and it’s because of working with such a great group of people and knowing that our work can really make a difference. I’m so happy that all of you will carry it on!” We will miss you, Joan! within REACH newsletter
lso in September, we said good-bye to Director of Fundraising & Public Relations, Laura Recko. Laura joined REACH in 2008 and has been responsible for putting the “fun” into fundraising while elevating REACH’s profile in the local and national media. Over the years, she raised several hundred thousand dollars for the programs we offer to our residents throughout our portfolio, both through individual giving and grants. She also assisted REACH in establishing a public relations presence, managing relationships with local real estate media including the Portland Business Journal, the Daily Journal of Commerce and the Portland Tribune. REACH has received significant national coverage, including exposure in Dwell magazine and Affordable Housing Finance. Our sincere thanks to Laura for helping to put REACH on the map and we wish you all the best in your next adventure!
Community Builders Program Thank you to Walsh! In August, with the help of a Walsh Construction crew coordinated by Bennett Barnwell, we installed a ramp, handrail, gate and new concrete for a North Portland resident. We are just thrilled with how this project turned out for this resident and her family. She noted how happy she was through the whole process with how thoughtful and thorough everyone was on site. And a big thanks to the Urban League for connecting us with this deserving family. As always, it was a pleasure working with Walsh. Thank you for taking time out your busy schedules to prioritize this work. It means a lot to REACH and to the communities we serve. 10
Critical Repairs to N/NE Homes With the support of an award from the Portland Housing Bureau, REACH is beginning work on the residences of nearly a dozen longtime homeowners to help them remain in their communities in North and Northeast Portland. The award is part of the City’s North/Northeast Neighborhood Housing Strategy — a five-year plan addressing the ongoing threat of displacement and gentrification in the neighborhoods that comprise inner North and Northeast Portland. All homeowners currently enrolled to receive critical repairs under this grant have lived in their homes for at least 25 years; 82% are African American. These homeowners will receive
up to $9,500 worth of repairs to help them retain homeownership and, for many, remain in the community that provides them with an important gathering place for friends and family. Repairs will include roof and gutter replacements; a new accessible bathroom; electrical panel replacements; and new furnaces and hot water tanks. A majority of repairs will be completed in partnership with local minority-owned businesses. Home repairs will be completed by June 30, 2016. “I am 88 years old and I really appreciate the work REACH will be doing to upgrade my electrical panel,” says one enrolled homeowner. “This will help me restore my homeowners insurance www.reachcdc.org
and increase my home’s value.” Community Building Day Over 80 volunteers came together to complete repairs for four N/ NE Portland senior homeowners. Two of the residents served were
referrals received from Urban League of Portland and Portland Community Reinvestment Initiative. Cash sponsors included Macy’s and Grainger. In-kind support was provided by Walsh Construction, Miller Paint, Pipeline
Plumbing, & LMC. Major repair projects included two wheel chair ramps, new gutters, a full house paint, a garage painted to retain homeowner’s insurance, and yard clean-up.
Orchards at Orenco II
Housing Development Allen Fremont Renovations are complete on this 64 unit rehabilitation project located in N/NE Portland for very low income seniors, primarily African American residents. REACH purchased the building in April 2015 and shortly began renovations. To give this property the update it deserves, we upgraded the building with energy efficiency retrofits, new roofing and exterior paint. With the help of residents, we updated the community room with furniture, new flooring and fresh paint. Thank you to Allen Fremont tenants for picking out the paint colors! Bronaugh Apartments Construction is about within REACH newsletter
complete on the complete renovation of this historic building. Residents were moved out for the yearlong rehab and are residing in four properties within the REACH portfolio. When they return they’ll be welcomed into units with brand new interiors – walls, floors, heating and ventilation, appliances and fixtures! Not as visible will be all the work (piles, seismic straps, shearwalls and rebar!) that is going into the Bronaugh’s full seismic retrofit.
in less than ideal weather. In the next few weeks, REACH will work to install the roof and all the windows and doors in order to focus on the interior of the building for the months ahead. We look forward to opening the next phase of Orchards in June 2016!
Isabella Court Work began on Isabella Court this past November, thus breaking ground on our newest development in Vancouver, WA. To celebrate, a small group of Orchards at Orenco II REACH staff, project partners and Progress is being made on Mayor Tim Leavitt came together Orchards II. In November, all three to commemorate this important floors of the building have been step to revitalization in the Fourth framed as crews work diligently Plain Corridor. FALL 2015
Summer Youth Program 2015 With a focus on Albina Corner & Patton Park, REACH hosted our annual Summer Youth program which engages our youth and builds partnerships with community organizations. This year we focused on literacy, taking us to local libraries and book stores. Other highlights included pie baking in observance of Independence Day, rock
climbing at Unthank Park, no bake cooking class, ice skating and a trip to Oregon State Park, Tyron Creek. The last outing of the program was to the Family Fun Center, also known as Bullwinkles, in Wilsonville, OR where the popular community icon, Nikki Brown Clown closed out this summer of fun and educational outings.
STAY CONNECTED! 4150 SW Moody Ave. | Portland, OR 97239 (503) 231-0682 | www.reachcdc.org | blog Our Mission: REACH creates affordable housing and opportunities for individuals, families, and communities to thrive. Photography: Al Stern Photography, Matt Giraud, REACH CDC archives