Catholic Charities Commits to Delivering 110 New Units of Affordable Housing to Low-Income Oregonians

Posted by | Staff

Catholic Charities of Oregon is excited to partner with Related Northwest on Cathedral Village, a new rental housing development that will serve working families and some of Portland’s most vulnerable residents. The development in North Portland’s St. John’s Neighborhood was announced at a September 17 event at Portland City Hall and will leverage private equity with public bond funds to deliver 110 new units of housing to low-income residents.


Architectural renderings of St. Johns building project

“We’re humbled to work with the City of Portland to address Portland’s housing crisis,” said Travis Phillips, Catholic Charities’ Director of Community Development and Housing. “Too many of our neighbors are struggling to make ends meet or find the support they need to successfully escape homelessness. This development will be a vital opportunity for the people who will live here, offering stability that we all need and deserve.”

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury, and Portland Housing Bureau Director Shannon Callahan hosted the event, presenting new developments which will deliver on the goals of the Portland Housing Bond, approved by voters in 2016. The Cathedral Village development serves these goals with 56 two- and three-bedroom homes for families and 37 homes reserved for households earning less than 30% AMI—about the amount of a typical social security payment. Eight of these units will provide housing for formerly homeless people (like Debbie), supported by Catholic Charities services to ensure stability and long-term success in permanent housing.

The development team also includes MWA Architects, who designed Catholic Charities recent St. Francis Park Apartments, and LMC Construction. Initial designs include studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments in a four-story building near the Willamette River and the St. John’s Bridge. The completed building will feature generous community space on the ground floor for resident activities and programs, on-site management, secure bicycle storage, and parking in a central courtyard.

With the announcement of the funding commitment, the project team will advance design development, including engagement and feedback from the community. Construction is estimated to begin in late 2020, with completion in 2022.

The Cathedral Village development is the first new project to receive committed funding since Catholic Charities of Oregon announced participation in a national Healthy Housing Initiative in early 2019. The Initiative, envisioned by Catholic Charities USA and piloted by five Catholic Charities agencies across the U.S., will officially launch in January 2020. It sets ambitious goals to reduce chronic homelessness, connect newly-housed residents with primary health and mental health care, and decrease hospital readmission rates among homeless persons. The other pilot cities include Spokane, Wash., Las Vegas, Nev., Detroit, Mich., and St. Louis, Mo.

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