Posts Tagged ‘Reinvestment’

December 10, 2013 · by pcriadmin · PCRI

Portland Community Reinvestment Initiatives (PCRI) believes investing in disadvantaged communities is one of the best ways to break the cycle of poverty.  This fall, PCRI did exactly that: 22 affordable rental homes in North and Northeast Portland will have new roofs, fresh paint and new sidewalks by the end of 2013 thanks to a workforce training program operated by local non-profit Native American Youth and Family Center (NAYA) and several minority-owned contractors.

PCRI spent more than $112,000 on improvements for the homes, with over 90% of the work performed by local, minority-owned and non-profit contractors.  The improvements ensure the long-term durability and safety of the homes for the low-income families who live in them and further PCRI’s long-standing goals to provide opportunity for small, local businesses and minority-owned firms.

“These aren’t just investments in a few homes, they are investments in the strength and livability of our community,” said Maxine Fitzpatrick, PCRI Executive Director.  “’Community Reinvestment’ is part of our name as well as an important part of how we do business.”

For the capital improvement projects, PCRI sought businesses with whom the organization had existing relationships such as NAYA Construction Services.  NAYA’s construction workforce training program trains low-income Native Americans with essential skills for living wage construction jobs.

“Our job is to care for our people and invest in our community. These building improvements mean a safer, more secure residence for people who need it, and increased opportunity for the minority-owned-and-operated contractors doing the work,” said Matt Morton, Squaxin Island Tribe, NAYA Family Center Executive Director.

PCRI also used these capital improvement projects to connect with contractors the organization had not previously used.  The Oregon Association of Minority Entrepreneurs (OAME) and Portland’s Metropolitan Contractor Improvement Project (MCIP) were especially instrumental, connecting PCRI with local minority businesses for this and future projects.

PCRI is continually improving its portfolio of 700 affordable housing units, including single-family homes, small plexes, and community apartments.  Contractors who are interested in participating in future improvement projects should contact Jordan Allen, Maintenance Administrator, for more information.

June 8, 2012 · by pcriadmin · Featured, PCRI

A recent series of articles in The Oregonian titled “Locked Out” has reignited discussion about public investment (and disinvestment) in fair and affordable housing, concentrations of poverty and communities of color, as well as issues of gentrification and displacement.

PCRI applauds efforts to increase awareness and discussion about these issues. Safe, decent and affordable housing can have a profound impact on the health and well-being of the home’s residents and for the community as a whole. Furthermore, culturally competent services provided by PCRI and other community development organizations give residents invaluable tools and support to build stability and self-sufficiency so that these affordable homes can be available in the future to other families who need a hand up.

Unfortunately, while public policy and investment have spurred improvements in many now-desirable Portland-area neighborhoods, many former residents of these neighborhoods have been priced out. The “Locked Out” series serves as evidence that policies and investments that have benefited some residents have not done enough to preserve diverse neighborhoods, prevent institutionalized inequality and displacement, or ensure all families have equal access to quality schools, efficient public transportation or affordable housing near their places of work and community support.

For 20 years, PCRI has invested and reinvested in our community, providing a unique variety of single-family homes, small multi-plexes and community apartments in 30 of Portland’s 95 neighborhoods. We are proud of the benefits our homes provide: PCRI residents are assured a stable and affordable home without fear of displacement by rising rents or changes in ownership; the community also benefits by avoiding concentrations of poverty and ensuring stability of those who work and attend school in the area.

The challenges of displacement, diversity and inclusion identified in the Oregonian’s series are significant, but they can be overcome with thoughtful, proactive, and inclusive policies and investments. You can help by making your voice heard and being educated on the issues.

Here’s what you can do:

1) Make your voice heard: call or write your representatives to let them know where fair and affordable housing is needed.
Portland’s Mayor and City Commissioners represent all Portland residents. Nick Fish is Portland’s housing commissioner.
—To find out who your representative is in the Oregon State Legislature, check here.
—East Portland is represented in the United States Congress by Earl Blumenauer. Contact him here. If you don’t know who your representative is, here.

2) Learn more:

  1. The Oregonian’s four-part report is available on OregonLive.
  2. To learn more about gentrification and housing in North/Northeast Portland, read The Skanners special report.
  3. For more in-depth knowledge, please see the Coalition of Communities of Color.
  4. You can learn about the history of community disinvestment in Albina in an article by Karen Gibson, PCRIs Board President.

3) Please consider supporting PCRI and our commitment to preserve diverse Portland neighborhoods as well as fulfill the Fair Housing Act.

For over 20 years PCRI has reinvested in Portland’s neighborhoods, preserved their diversity and provided tools to help low-income Portland families achieve stability and self-sufficiency.  You can contribute to PCRI here.