Posts Tagged ‘In the News’

July 6, 2017 · by pcriadmin · Featured, PCRI
RetentionVolunteer

PCRI maintenance techs volunteer at the home of a North Portland senior, painting and performing critical home repairs.

PCRI is thrilled to be a recipient of CareOregon’s 2017 grant funding. The $50,000 grant will expand PCRI’s Senior Homeownership Retention and Repair Program, focused on helping North and Northeast Portland senior homeowners who need assistance with critical home repairs or retaining home ownership.

“These grants continue CareOregon’s emphasis on working with our community partners to address social determinants of health, particularly housing issues. Along with adverse childhood events, this is a key goal for CareOregon management and our board of directors,” said Eric C. Hunter, chief executive officer and president.

CareOregon’s spring 2017 grant cycle was focused on overcoming housing insecurity, helping address one of the biggest socioeconomic barriers to effective health care. In all, $300,000 in development investment grants were made to seven organizations that focus their efforts on reducing housing insecurity, including organizations which PCRI partners with to identify and assist eligible senior homeowners such as Northwest Pilot Project and the Store to Door program.

“Our experience in providing care through the Oregon Health Plan has made it clear that this population is at a greater risk for housing insecurity, as well as other social and economic factors, than the average Oregonian.”

CareOregon’s bi-annual community-benefit giving additionally awarded almost $115,000 in nine smaller grants within the organization’s core focus areas: childhood development, member and community empowerment, social determinants of health and Community Health Improvement Plan goals in its service areas.

“A common theme of these grants is that they are to programs that are primarily direct services for young children and families at high risk of experiencing poor health outcomes,” Hunter said. “We know that if we can have a positive impact on families’ health early on, that impact will not only provide benefits now, but will continue to have benefits for them and our community for many years into the future.”

CareOregon serves the largest number of Medicaid recipients in the state through its affiliation with four Coordinated Care Organizations. For more about the grants, see http://bit.ly/co-2017-spring-grant-recipients. For more information about PCRI’s Senior Homeownership Retention and Repair Program, click HERE.

November 21, 2016 · by pcriadmin · Featured, Pathway 1000, PCRI, The Beatrice Morrow

PCRI is proud to be selected by Meyer Memorial Trust for a 2016 Housing Opportunities portfolio grant award. The grant, announced in November 2016, will help offset costs for PCRI to develop a large community center in the new building at the Grant Warehouse site (more recently named The Beatrice Morrow) which will serve residents as well as the larger community. Grant funds will also ensure the affordability of family-sized apartments in this new building, meeting Meyer’s goal of increasing the number of available affordable housing units.

Conceptual Rendering of The Beatrice Morrow (c) Carleton Hart Architecture

Conceptual Rendering of The Beatrice Morrow (c) Carleton Hart Architecture

In a post on Meyer’s website, Housing Opportunities portfolio director Theresa Deibele noted that equity and cultural competency were especially important for selected grantees, including PCRI and other organizations who predominantly serve communities of color. She added that selected grantees such as PCRI aligned well with Meyer’s equity mission, including work to reduce the disparities faced by marginalized people, support for vulnerable populations and commitments for contracting and employment opportunity.

“Equity also showed up in how projects are carried out,” Deibele wrote. “All capital projects reflected a commitment to use minority-owned, women-owned and emerging small business contractors.”

PCRI has made significant commitments to contracting equity in the development of The Beatrice Morrow and other projects. This development will also be part of PCRI’s Pathway 1000 initiative, which has a significant component dedicated to contracting and employment. An implementation plan for this portion of the Pathway 1000 initiative is currently underway.

PCRI was among six organizations who were awarded grants for new housing development. All of the developments awarded will serve very vulnerable and high priority populations. A total of 282 new units are expected to be added to the state’s housing stock in part because of these awards, according to Meyer’s website.

Diebele noted the value in Meyer’s philanthropy to help ensure the viability of affordable housing which also leverages public and private funds.

“Many projects directly leverage large public investments, which often come from restricted funding sources (e.g., tax increment financing that must be spent on capital in a certain neighborhood region),” she wrote, “and philanthropy can play a role in helping to fund the staffing and support services needed to deploy such funds.”

PCRI is honored to have Meyer Memorial Trust’s support to develop The Beatrice Morrow and is looking forward to beginning construction. As of November 2016, the development was pending building permit approval and finalization of financing terms. Construction is expected to begin in winter 2016-17.

 

October 13, 2016 · by pcriadmin · Featured, PCRI

Travis Phillips, PCRI’s Director of Housing and Development, took to the airwaves Wednesday, October 12, to discuss PCRI, involuntary displacement, and homeownership on XRAY.FM’s “XRAY in the Morning” show.

IMG_8851Talking about gentrification and displacement, host Jefferson Smith noted that there is a risk of people growing numb to an ongoing challenge such as displacement due to residents no longer being able to afford their neighborhoods.

“Are people motivated to do things right now, to help your work?” Smith asked. “Do you have any risk of fatigue?”

“Sure we have a risk of fatigue,” Phillips responded. “What I think is really exciting right now is there is an attention to displacement and more importantly some solutions to displacement that are long overdue but ones we haven’t seen before,” referring to PCRI’s Pathway 1000 Initiative and “Right to Return” program that gives waiting list preference for some units to households involuntarily displaced from N/NE Portland.

The show continued, discussing homeownership opportunity for lower-income and first time buyers.

“For a lot of Portlanders, becoming a homeowner is akin to running an ever-quickening treadmill. You want to do it, but it’s getting faster and faster,” Smith said, wondering how PCRI works with home buyers to overcome the challenges of the current market.

Education, Phillips noted, is one of PCRI’s key strategies for home buying success. It is PCRI’s goal to ensure that buyers are well-prepared for their home purchase so they can maintain homeownership for the long term. On the show, one resource (Portland Housing Bureau’s Down Payment Assistance Loan) was discussed, but PCRI helps connect buyers with multiple resources that can be leveraged and combined to help ensure home buyers borrow from a bank only what they can afford.XRAYFM

For XRAY listeners and others who are interested in learning more about buying a home with PCRI’s assistance, PCRI offers a HUD-certified education program, one-on-one assistance and regular educational seminars. Visit our homeownership page for details or contact Homeownership Program Specialist Linda Tellis-Kennedy for more information.

Jump over to XRAY’s website to listen to the entire broadcast. Or find specific segments and archives from more than two weeks back by going to XRAY’s SoundCloud page.

 

April 15, 2016 · by pcriadmin · Awards, Featured, PCRI

IMG_6315At a luncheon ceremony on April 14, Portland Business Journal honored PCRI Executive Director Maxine Fitzpatrick and 24 other accomplished business leaders as Women of Influence for 2016. The award (previously called the Orchid Award) recognizes the region’s most innovative and accomplished business executives.

“Maxine is a stabilizing force in affordable housing and community development,” Portland Business Journal reported in their Women of Influence special publication. “She works as a tireless advocate for low- and moderate-income families.”

According to the Business Journal, “this year’s class was chosen from among an intense array of nominees who sported vast accomplishments and long, sometimes overwhelming, community service involvement lists.”

September 10, 2015 · by Travis Phillips · Featured, PCRI

PCRI was one of the local partners recognized by Multnomah County on Tuesday, September 8, as the city and county began a 100-day push for their “Home for Every Veteran” initiative, aimed at ending veteran homelessness before the end of the year.

Home for Every Veteran event

Debi Christensen (right) accepts a “Home for Every Veteran” award from Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury at a media event on September 8, 2015.

“While we have rent assistance and other tools to help get vets back into housing — what we don’t have are the apartments,” said Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury at a news conference.

PCRI was recognized as one of a handful of community partners who have been instrumental in opening doors and removing barriers for veterans seeking housing. Since January 2015, PCRI has housed six residents referred by the Veterans Administration’s Portland Community Resource and Referral Center. Debi Christensen, PCRI’s Senior Portfolio Manager, was one of the PCRI staff members at the event and accepted the award from Kafoury.

At the news conference, Kafoury noted unprecedented demand, skyrocketing rents, and near-zero vacancy rates as barriers making it even harder than normal for veterans and other renters to find stable housing.

Kafoury, Portland Mayor Charlie Hales, Commissioner Dan Saltzman, and local Veterans Administration officials each spoke at the event. The common message from the leaders to private and nonprofit landlords was: if you have a vacant unit, please consider a veteran.

The speakers noted that with federal and local resources focused on ending veteran homelessness, “a veteran who comes with unprecedented resources behind him or her to help them be good tenants.”

The local officials who spoke at the event also asked that anyone knows a landlord with available housing visit www.ahomeforeveryvet.net where additional information is available.

To date, the “Home for Every Veteran” initiative has connected 430 veterans to permanent housing, but according to estimates, there are still about 290 Portland veterans without housing.

The goal of ending veteran homelessness is to achieve “functional zero.” The county acknowledges that there will still be veterans who experience homelessness after their goal is achieved, but add that systems are now in place to ensure veteran homelessness is brief, rare and non-reoccurring.

The media event preceded an event on September 11 called Veteran Stand Down. That event, at Veterans Memorial Coliseum, helps veterans connect to services including housing, clothing, employment, medical programs and other critical services.

September 10, 2015 · by pcriadmin · Featured, PCRI

PCRI was one of the local partners recognized by Multnomah County on Tuesday, September 8, as the city and county began a 100-day push for their “Home for Every Veteran” initiative, aimed at ending veteran homelessness before the end of the year.

Home for Every Veteran event

Debi Christensen (right) accepts a “Home for Every Veteran” award from Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury at a media event on September 8, 2015.

“While we have rent assistance and other tools to help get vets back into housing — what we don’t have are the apartments,” said Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury at a news conference.

PCRI was recognized as one of a handful of community partners who have been instrumental in opening doors and removing barriers for veterans seeking housing. Since January 2015, PCRI has housed six residents referred by the Veterans Administration’s Portland Community Resource and Referral Center. Debi Christensen, PCRI’s Senior Portfolio Manager, was one of the PCRI staff members at the event and accepted the award from Kafoury.

At the news conference, Kafoury noted unprecedented demand, skyrocketing rents, and near-zero vacancy rates as barriers making it even harder than normal for veterans and other renters to find stable housing.

Kafoury, Portland Mayor Charlie Hales, Commissioner Dan Saltzman, and local Veterans Administration officials each spoke at the event. The common message from the leaders to private and nonprofit landlords was: if you have a vacant unit, please consider a veteran.

The speakers noted that with federal and local resources focused on ending veteran homelessness, “a veteran who comes with unprecedented resources behind him or her to help them be good tenants.”

The local officials who spoke at the event also asked that anyone knows a landlord with available housing visit www.ahomeforeveryvet.net where additional information is available.

To date, the “Home for Every Veteran” initiative has connected 430 veterans to permanent housing, but according to estimates, there are still about 290 Portland veterans without housing.

The goal of ending veteran homelessness is to achieve “functional zero.” The county acknowledges that there will still be veterans who experience homelessness after their goal is achieved, but add that systems are now in place to ensure veteran homelessness is brief, rare and non-reoccurring.

The media event preceded an event on September 11 called Veteran Stand Down. That event, at Veterans Memorial Coliseum, helps veterans connect to services including housing, clothing, employment, medical programs and other critical services.

July 22, 2011 · by Travis Phillips · PCRI

Around PCRI, we’re always eager to share great stories about our staff and residents, but we’re especially enthusiastic when they’re about PCRI youth.  As one might expect, when we heard through the grapevine that Marius, a PCRI youth, joined forces with the City of Portland as their Green Building events Intern, we were excited.  And as we learned more, the connections back to PCRI just kept popping out.

Marius and his family came to the United States a year and half ago from the Congo and lived in Tanzania for eight years before that.  Since he’s been in Portland, Marius has been chalking up some pretty impressive accomplishments: he graduated at the top of his class this June from David Douglas High School and he’s on the Multnomah Youth Commission.  He’s received a Future Connect PCC scholarship where he will begin in the fall taking pre-pharmacy and other general classes.

At the City of Portland, Marius will be working closely with Valerie Garrett, the Regional Green Building Hotline Coordinator.  (Valerie also has ties to PCRI: she is a former staff member). Marius will be learning about green building and climate change during his internship and will assist Valerie with outreach, public relations and recruiting of volunteers for the 2011 Build It Green! Home Tour on Saturday, Sept. 24 (PCRI has participated twice on the home tour, but we’re sitting it out this year).

Of course, we extend our congratulations to Marius on his internship and we know he’ll be in good hands working with Valerie!

May 11, 2011 · by Travis Phillips · Awards, PCRI

This spring, the American Leadership Forum of Oregon created a new contest for middle and high school youth called the Oregon Youth in Action Contest. This contest challenges youth to develop innovative projects that promote healthy bodies and healthy communities.

PCRI is exceptionally proud that of the 27 applicant teams, PCRI’s team of youth was one of nine winning entries.  Marina, Grant and Tosha’s winning project, “Teenagers Engaged in Eating Nutritious Snacks” (TEENS), received a $2,000 implementation grant which will help the team successfully create a healthy snack.

The TEENS project, sponsored by PCRI, will create an affordable and healthy snack which will be for sale at the Village Market store located in New Columbia.  This store was designed to provide healthy food options in the community. Marina, Grant and Tosha will test market and survey community teens, work with a chef to develop the product, design appealing packaging, locate production facilities, produce and distribute the snack and gather opinions of shoppers who buy the product at Village Market.

At the Award Celebration in Salem last week, the trio of PCRI youth and other state-wide team winners met with Oregon State Senator Chip Shields and Governor John Kitzhaber; each team presented their project to the Human Services Committee. PCRI youth presented their project with this ultimate goal:  get youth in their community to appreciate and eat wholesome foods, and help create a snack that is both affordable and accessible.



The event, created by Class 24 of the American Leadership Forum of Oregon, was designed around First Lady Michelle Obama’s national campaign called Let’s Move. The Let’s Move campaign’s objective is to engage Americans in raising a healthier generation of kids.

PCRI is thrilled to support the youth in this worthy endeavor. Their talents and creativity are sure to make an impact in the community. For more information about this program, call Julie at 503-281-1778 or email Julie@pcrihome.org.

September 30, 2010 · by Travis Phillips · PCRI

As recipients of a Portland Energy Efficient Home Pilot (PEEHP) grant, PCRI previewed our newly completed homes this morning to project partners and to KGW-TV, channel 8.

The new homes are being made available for purchase by families earning 80% or less of area median income.  To ensure they are affordable in the long haul, the PEEHP grant helped offset the cost of energy-saving techniques and systems (like the water heaters provided by Portland General Electric).

KGW’s Erica Heartquist has a video preview of the homes, including their energy-efficient features and sustainable materials.

Families currently living in PCRI’s rental housing are expected to purchase the new homes.

“We house over 700 families and so when we decided to move into home ownership development, we just decided to work with the households that were already living in PCRI properties, so it was really quite easy,” said Fitzpatrick.

This start-to-finish approach toward self-sufficiency is part of PCRI’s larger goal of increasing home ownership rates for minority Portland families.  The home ownership rate for most minorities in Portland is 33% compared to 69% for white residents.

The homes were built by Terrafirma Building Inc., with the construction loan funded by the Portland Housing Bureau.  The construction funding and PEEHP Grant also includes two other row homes nearby that are scheduled for completion in October.

September 22, 2010 · by Travis Phillips · PCRI

Did you see us in last Sunday’s Oregonian?  Our new homes are part of the City of Portland’s Build it Green! homes tour and were featured in the September 19 “Homes and Rentals” section of the paper.

The article highlights PCRI’s new homes and some of the features we’ve built in to ensure energy efficiency and low utility costs, durability and low maintenance costs as well as sustainability–sustaining the neighborhood and viable housing options as well as being mindful of our precious natural resources.

“The great thing about the show is it gives you a chance to see how green building technology works.  It’s so much more valuable than seeing houses on the Internet or reading a book,” Valerie Garrett said in the article.  She is the Green Building Specialist and the coordinator for the tour at City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability.

Other affordable new homes by Orange Splot/Proud Ground and Habitat for Humanity are also featured in the article and on the tour.  The Oregonian feature pointed out the homes’ affordability and the increased benefit of green building strategies for affordable homes.

“The builders are making [the homes] available at below-market prices, and are including the same kinds of green features as other homes on the tour.  Those green features make the homes even more affordable because they keep energy costs to a minimum,” the article said.

Tickets to the Saturday, September 25 tour can be picked up for $15 from Ecohaus at 819 SE Taylor Street.  Tour hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Ecohaus will also host a free information fair from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. that is open to everyone.