Updates Affordable Housing, Gas Tax, Portland Street Response, Houseless Services, Covid-19, NUNM.
Happy Friday! Now that the craziness of session is behind us, these updates are likely to be a little shorter. I’ll still do these weekly, with maybe a break here and there if I’m out of the office but we’ll probably have less to cover. That said, this week I want to focus on some local news that I think is interesting/important. I’ll be providing updates on affordable housing, the gas tax, Portland Street Response, Covid-19 and featuring the National University of Natural Medicine (NUNM).
As per usual, I like to lift up some of the work being done around our affordable housing crisis in this city. This work can often not make headlines and thus it can feel like nothing is happening. There are many levels at which we need change: We need more shelter space, more affordable housing, more outreach and services to those on the street to bring them to shelters, more housing with wraparound services for those who cannot support themselves, and more. Work in all those areas in being done. Here is one example. This week I heard about a new affordable housing project in SE Portland on 38th and Holgate.
It is just in its very early phases and will provide affordable housing for young Black professionals pursuing architectural, engineering, and construction management careers. The five-story building will consist of at least 72 small apartments, and is expected to open in 2024. Private funding will pay for the construction, and rent will be capped at 60% of Area Median Income. To keep costs down and create a replicable model of affordable housing construction, a contractor will fabricate each of the building's apartments in Idaho, then truck those here as nearly-complete units.
A large construction crane will then assemble them, one atop the other, on the Holgate property. This work is expected to happen in the summer of 2023. This project arose out of own of the funding organization’s (Self Improvement Inc) plans for an apprenticeship program for young black professionals and expanded rapidly.
I think it’s really great to see this privately funded project go ahead and while I know 72 units may not sound like a ton, this is just one example of the kind of affordable housing that is being built around this city. I will be excited to see the finished product. A little later on this newsletter I’ll talk about some more short term work being done in the affordable housing space and last week I also talked about the funding package for services and shelter for Houseless folks that we passed this session but I did want to spotlight another great development going on.