within REACH a healthy community begins at home
REACH Community Development Summer 2015 Edition
to the neighborhood
rewards well earned
Winter glad to2015 be in
AN EVENING WITH PAULA POUNDSTONE Purchase your tickets today!
HUMOR + HOUSING: A FUNDRAISER BENEFITING REACH CDC OCTOBER 22
JPMorgan Chase, Kantor Taylor Nelson Evatt & Decina PC, Acumen Executive Search, Ankrom Moisan Architects, Gerding Edlen, Holland Partner Group, Holst Architecture, LMC Construction, Network for Oregon Affordable Housing, Providence Health & Services, Raymond James Tax Credit Funds, Inc., TEAM Construction/MWA Architects, The Standard, U S Bank, Enterprise Community Investment, Inc., Rhino Digital Printing
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of creating affordable housing, we’ll also support advocacy efforts aimed at increasing economic opportunity, such as higher minimum wages. Another key role for REACH is to serve as an example for how public investments can be an effective tool at creating economic opportunity. It is wrong to view these public investments as “handouts” to the “takers” as it is sometimes politically framed. In fact, the number of people living in subsidized rental housing is actually quite small compared to the largest group of subsidized housing recipients, homeowners. This is because every homeowner in the United States with a mortgage receives a form of housing subsidization through the mortgage interest tax deduction. For example, my personal homeowner deduction is approximately $4,000 in tax savings per year. This is not to criticize the mortgage
ew York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof wrote a piece this month about the recent death of Rick Goff, a childhood friend from his hometown, Yamhill, OR. Rick was smart and full of energy, but he Dan Valliere grew up in poverty and faced family tragedy when his mother died young and his father left the family. He dropped out of school and worked hard throughout his life, but struggled to get ahead. Before his death, he was just getting by on disability benefits and part-time work. Kristof reflects on the disconnect between the image of the United States as the land of opportunity, where anyone can make it through hard work and self-reliance, and the present reality of less economic mobility and great income inequality. Reading Kristof’s column got me to thinking about what role REACH plays in this picture. Clearly, we help with economic progress by offering affordable housing options; however, this only addresses part of the issue. The lack of quality educational opportunities and stagnation of wages lies at the heart of our problems with regard to economic mobility. Still, it’s clear that building stable affordable housing in close proximity to jobs and educational opportunities is a platform from which many people make progress. And people could progress even more if we change our national budget priorities and economic policies. As we continue our work
... affordable housing should be viewed as equally important and prioritized ...
interest deduction, but simply to recognize that public investments in affordable housing should be viewed as equally important and prioritized in our local and national budgets. Our country is built on a belief in self-reliance and freedom of choice which is a good thing. Yet our country’s housing markets have long been heavily regulated and controlled by corporate and government policy. From the now illegal redlining policies to present-day zoning codes and SUMMER 2015
systemic changes that are . . .
CONNECT with housing advocates through the Oregon Housing Alliance
BRINGING US CLOSER TO THE END OF HOUSING INEQUITY
ENDORSE the Welcome Home Coalition and support affordable housing opportunities
mortgage interest tax benefits, our housing policies continue to favor property owners, wealthier households and perpetuate racial exclusion. So, as Nicolas Kristof reminds us, individual self-reliance only goes as far as long-standing policies allow. At REACH we will continue to help spread this message by creating affordable housing and advocating for changes in our systems that truly balance the playing field.
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Welcome to the Neighborhood
n Monday, June 29th several hundred guests celebrated the Grand Opening of Orchards at Orenco, REACH’S latest development located in Hillsboro, Oregon. Joined by Congresswoman Bonamici (D-Oregon), State Rep. Gallegos (D-Hillsboro), Mayor Willey, Executive Director Katrin Klingenberg of Passive House US and a host of elected leaders and advocates for affordable housing, we officially opened the largest multi-family Passive House building in North America! Orchards at Orenco is a 57-unit building with rents affordable to residents earning approximately 50 percent of area Median Family Income (MFI), or approximately $30,000 for a single-person household. Rents for the one- and two-bedroom units range from $611-$733/month. The building will achieve nearly a 70% reduction for overall energy use (compared to comparably sized building) and those savings are being passed directly onto residents through lower utility bills. “Stable, quality housing makes a big difference in the lives of low-income residents trying to get ahead,” said Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici,
who serves on the Congressional Caucus on Homelessness. State Rep. Joe Gallegos recalled his childhood, when his family moved to a different home every fall after working in the farm fields. He attended 10 different schools as a child. “This is more than affordable housing,” Gallegos said. “This is a keystone for progress. We all know how critical stable housing is for a child’s education.” “It’s a perfect attribute to the city of Hillsboro,” said Mayor Jerry Willey. We were thrilled to receive our official Passive House certification. A sincere thank you to our development team and funding partners without whom Orchards at Orenco would not have been possible. Our friends at Ankrom Moisan made a very cool video about the project – check it out! We also received some nice media coverage on OregonLive, in the Portland Tribune, and on KPTV 12. See you next year as we celebrate the Grand Opening of Phase II (adjacent to Phase I), 58 units of more affordable homes coming to Hillsboro! Check out photos courtesy of Al Stern Photography. § www.reachcdc.org
Rewards Well Earned
ou know, you don’t have to be famous, you just have to make your mother and father proud of you. And you already have.” Meryl Streep said that to the 2010 graduating class of Barnard College. The same words of wisdom apply to the 2014-15 Youth$ave graduating class – and then some! On June 23rd, 17 kids living in REACH housing reached an amazing milestone in their lives as they proudly graduated from Youth$ave, all while making significant increases in their savings accounts. For the past sixteen years, Youth$ave has been teaching young people about a range of financial topics. This year’s curriculum covered a lot of ground exploring topics like the characteristics of money, comparison shopping, credit and credit cards, debt, and budgeting. The class also placed special emphasis on saving for higher education and learning about future employment by identifying strengths and interests. And in the vein of “keeping it real,” kids learned about saving, and the challenges related to this. Students attend
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classes twice a month during the school year, identify and work towards their savings goals, and volunteer for a variety of community service projects. This year, they helped out at Janus Youth Shelter, Meals on Wheels at the Oregon Food Bank. Nearly all of the students either reached or exceeded their savings goals, saving $2,355 and earning a match of $5,428 for a total of $7,783! The kids used their savings to purchase archery classes, piano lessons, gym memberships, laptops and many other things. Keynote Mytein Kent, owner of the Portland Beauty School provided inspirational words to send them off as did longtime Youth$aver Collin Chavez McCormack. We’d be remiss if we didn’t thank the parents, guardians, and family members who support each of the students. This is a group of individuals who truly believe in the bright futures of these kids and are willing to make sacrifices to make their dreams come true. Congratulations to all of the Youth$ave kids – keep up the incredible work! §
Glad to be in Gateway
n Monday, July 20th REACH welcomed another 60 new affordable homes into the “family,” Gilman Court! The sun melted our ice cream sundaes as guests enjoyed a Grand Opening celebration of REACH’s newest project named in honor of our founding Executive Director Dennis Gilman. Gilman Court is the second phase of a unique two-phase development. It’s a new transit-oriented development located in Portland’s Gateway Urban Renewal District located less than a third of a mile from the MAX light rail. Gilman Court is a 60-unit building (one bdrm apts) for seniors earning between $15,000-$30,000 annually. Rents range from $325-$605. REACH is providing all Property Management services while Human Solutions, developer on Glisan Commons is providing all Residential Services. Amenities include generous outdoor spaces, patios, community courtyard, and features to aid seniors to “age in place,” including on-site access to Ride Connection, who provides door-to-door transportation options. Green features include Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification, water conservation features, garden boxes, and participation in the “Green Streets” Program (bio swales installed to treat storm water runoff). The building has been named after REACH’s founding Executive Director, Dennis Gilman (1948-2001). We were honored to be joined by Dennis’s daughters, Maggie and Cadie, who spoke eloquently about their dad’s contributions not within REACH newsletter
just to REACH but to the Portland community. “Our dad believed in the amazing potential we all have to work together to create something wonderful ... we are so grateful that REACH has given our father and our family this astounding honor.” Congressman Earl Blumenauer, a former neighbor of Dennis’s, reflected on Dennis’s work and the legacy REACH has created, saying “I like to think what Dennis and that crew did was the turning point ... of what happened in inner southeast in terms of people taking charge. And REACH was a critical part of that. Looking now at [REACH’s] inventory of over 2,000 housing units and being part of the development of these anchors for these communities. This is what’s happening here [at Gilman Court].” Commissioner Dan Saltzman spoke of the need for more projects like Gilman Court, saying “I don’t think I need to tell this crowd that we face an affordable housing crisis in Portland and [this] is unacceptable. We must be a city that offers Portlander’s a chance to live and work in Portland and it’s up to all of us to continue to make sure we keep that goal in mind ... That’s why I’m so excited about Gilman Court. We can’t do this without partners like REACH.” We were also honored to be joined by Governor Barbara Roberts, State Senator Michael Dembrow and Senator Wyden’s office. Finally, thank you to our development team and funding partners without whom Gilman Court would not have been possible. Check out photos courtesy of Allen Cao Photography. §
JESSICA WOODRUFF N E W D I R E C TO R OF HOUSING DEVELOPMENT
hen you’ve been at an organization 10 years, you can claim to know a thing or two. 20 years and maybe they’ll write a book. When you’ve hit the 30 year mark, they should make a movie! Linda Davidson, REACH’s HR Manager has retired after a 30 year run. And she’s seen it all … literally. We sat down with her to get a little perspective on what it’s like to watch something being born, go through the terrible teens, and mature into adulthood, which is kind of how we think about REACH. Q: What are the various positions you’ve held at REACH? A: I’ve been a bookkeeper, accountant, rent collector, payroll specialist, IT and HR specialist and HR Manager. I’ve basically seen it all.
Leaving a Legacy
Q: How have you seen things change over your time at REACH? How have things evolved? A: REACH began as a small number of tight knit people with a vision that’s grown into a multi-million dollar organization managing over 2,000 affordable homes. What’s amazing is that despite all of our growth, we’ve stayed true to our mission. And I’m proud of that. Q: What changes have you seen in the community development and in the field of affordable housing in Portland and the region in your time at REACH? A: When REACH started, there were other CDCs [community development corporations] in Portland but many of them didn’t make it. They didn’t have the financial pieces in place to survive. But I think what really set REACH apart what was our commitment and a core group of people who really believed we could www.reachcdc.org
change our community for the better. REACH took the time to focus our work on a small area, in just one neighborhood and we grew from there. At the time, it was a groundbreaking model. You have to remember that when REACH started over 30 years ago, this was all very new stuff. It’s been very gratifying to see how REACH has grown and been able to share a lot of best practices across the industry. Q: What do you think has been your most valuable contribution? A: My dedication to the organization, to our mission and to doing whatever it took to keeping things moving forward. I believed I could make things happen. And I’ve had plenty of co-workers who felt the same way. We didn’t always ask for permission – we just did! Q: What advice do you have for REACH moving forward? A: Continue focusing on the mission which REACH does exceptionally well. Continue building on our value-based dedication and remember that the employees really are the most important resource. And believe that anything is possible. REACH would not be where we are today without Linda’s support and dedication over the past 30 years. It’s amazing to think REACH has only been in five locations in those 33 years; and Linda has had office space in each one. Apparently, in the “good old days” we also had one computer that rolled around and had to be shared. Can you imagine? Linda has earned some well-deserved time with her grandchildren, spending some time hiking in the gorge and visiting her family in Texas. We’ll miss her and wish her well. § within REACH newsletter
elcome to James Beard, Assistant Community Manager; Ann Bourget, Building Monitor; Jorge Carballo, Building Monitor; Neil Crawford, Facilities Operations Coordinator; Amanda Cullum, Community Manager; Joel Dixon, Maintenance Technician; Kayla Drake, Resident Services Youth Coordinator; Carmen FranklinMartinez, 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. §
Employee Kickball 2015
Orchards at Orenco Phase II
Housing Development Towne Square Apartments Renovations are complete on this 40 unit rehabilitation project located in Washougal, WA. Towne Square is home to 71 people living on very low incomes. Renovations included ADA accessibility upgrades; improvements to the siding, windows, and energy efficiency enhancements to the heating and ventilation systems; addition of community space, gardens, and play area; and upgrades to individual units. Allen Fremont Apartments Renovations are underway on this 64 unit rehabilitation project located in N/NE Portland for very low-income seniors, primarily African Americans. REACH 12
purchased the building in 2015 and renovations will be complete this summer. Renovations will consist primarily of energy efficiency upgrades; new roofing; interior unit upgrades; and exterior paint. Bronaugh Apartments Renovations are underway on this historic 50 unit rehabilitation project located in downtown Portland for low-income senior and disabled people. This beautiful building, built in 1905, is listed on the historic registry and is one of the oldest remaining apartment buildings in Portland. REACH is performing a complete building renovation, including a full code seismic upgrade; new unit interiors
(walls, flooring, heating units, etc.); new community facilities; and upgrades to the community courtyard. Residents have been moved out and relocated throughout the REACH portfolio. We expect to re-open the building in Spring 2016. Orchards at Orenco Phase II Construction on Orchards at Orenco Phase II has begun. This 58 unit new construction project is located in Hillsboro at Orenco Station and is the second phase of REACHâ€™s three phase project. Construction will be informed by our Phase I project, built using Passive House energy standards. We expect to open the building in June 2016. www.reachcdc.org
Resident Services This past year, REACH embarked on a new community-building opportunity with our partner, NeighborWorks®America. With support from NeighborWorks, REACH sent five residents and two staff to the Community Leadership Institute (CLI) in Cincinnati. The CLI is an invitation-only, three-day training event that aims to strengthen the voices and skills of community, resident and volunteer leaders by sharing best practices and solutions to challenges facing low- and
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moderate-income communities across the country. Participants from around the US attend in small teams from areas served by the NeighborWorks network and their partners. They attend a full range of courses and each participating team creates an action plan for making positive change back in their community. By the end of the course, REACH’s team created an action plan and received a small implementation grant to host a resident-led expo showcasing art, cooking skills and the many talents of REACH residents.
The event, held in May at St. Philip Neri Parish, was a great success. Several residents showcased their cooking skills, displayed hand-made jewelry, read original poetry and more. Raffle prizes were awarded and several of REACH’s partner organizations joined in the fun. “I believe it was very successful,” said one of the resident CLI team members. “It opened people’s mind to do better and become more [to] their community in a positive way.” We’re looking forward to what the team develops next time!
Community Builders Program One of the keys to getting our work done at REACH is the support we receive from our many partners, volunteers, and contractors who come out and donate their time and materials. Recently, REACH hosted a Spring Workday. These workdays are part of our Community Builders Program (CBP). The CBP is a free, bilingual home repair program we offer throughout the City of Portland available to low-income senior and (or) disabled homeowners. We serve nearly 200 homeowners per year, providing over 1,000 free repairs. No other program in our region matches CBP in terms of its mission, scope and commitment to safe housing for low-income homeowners. 14
This past April, thirty outstanding volunteers collectively donated 160 hours of their time to complete seven projects including building a wheel chair ramp, re-building a front porch, and completing a massive yard clean up. As if this wasn’t enough, O’Neill Electric, our contractor on the Allen Freemont Apartments rehab, made a massive donation and installed a new electrical panel for a homeowner who otherwise would never have been able to afford this equipment. “This [REACH] is an important, valuable resource and I am deeply grateful,” said the homeowner. “As a disabled senior with a serious heart condition, I need all the help I can get. It’s organizations like yours that give me hope.”
The services REACH offers through the CBP address significant public health concerns due to sub-standard and unsafe housing conditions. They also improve the quality of life of the people we serve, oftentimes helping homeowners avoid displacement due to code violations. The intangibles are difficult to measure but they’re found in the spirit of volunteerism that happens when people come together to help a neighbor in need. And in the gratitude of a smile and a hug REACH often receives from a grateful homeowner. You can’t really put a price tag on these. A huge thank you to our volunteers, our friends from O’Neill Electric for your generosity, and to our staff who lead these efforts. www.reachcdc.org
Fred Meyer is donating $2.6 million per year to non-profits in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington, based on where their customers tell them to give. We know a lot of you shop at Fredâ€™s already â€” what a great way to give back!
Sign up for the Community Rewards program by linking your Fred Meyer Rewards Card to REACH online. Our non-profit number is 81923.
Once your card is linked, every time you shop or purchase gas at any Fred Meyer, you are also supporting REACH. You still earn your Rewards Points, Fuel Points, and Rebates.
Your support helps REACH provide safe, decent and affordable homes throughout Multnomah, Clark, and Washington counties. Thank you for shopping and donating!
Questions? Need to sign up for a Fred Meyer Reward card? You can do so online. Or visit any Customer Service Desk at any Fred Meyer store to sign up.
STAY CONNECTED! 4150 SW Moody Ave. | Portland, OR 97239 (503) 231-0682 | www.reachcdc.org | blog Our Mission: To provide quality affordable housing and opportunities for individuals, families, and communities to thrive. Photography: Al Stern Photography, Allen Cao Photography, Matt Giraud, Heath Curry, REACH CDC archives
SCHOOL IS JUST AROUND THE CORNER AND WE NEED BACKPACKS, PAPER, PENCILS, SCISSORS AND RULERS TO HELP MAKE SURE OUR KIDS
START SCHOOL RIGHT
Click here to see a wish list. If you are interested in donating much needed supplies, collection boxes are available at Gray’s Landing and Station Place Tower. You can also drop off supplies directly to Angie at the main ofﬁce or Kim in Washington.