PORTLAND, OR. MAY 12, 2016 -
The new "Fern Grove Apartments" are all three-bedroom units, designed for 3-7 people. Larger affordable units like these are difficult to find in Portland, so PHC committed to meet the need. "We work hard to remove as many barriers as possible for the at-risk people we serve so they can live an independent life. We create stable jobs and housing, which are critical to their success," says Alysa Rose, PHC CEO. "It can be hard for larger families to find an appropriate place to live, so we make sure to include three-bedroom units in our housing mix to help them."
Fern Grove Apartments are in the Reynolds School District. "11% of our student population is considered homeless, so access to new affordable housing options for families can make a big difference," says Lisa McDonald, Principal of Glenfair Elementary. Students who experience homelessness or hypermobility have been shown to perform below other low-income peers throughout elementary school. According to the Center for Housing Policy, these children are more likely than their peers to drop out of school, repeat grades, perform poorly in school, disengage in the classroom, and suffer from learning disabilities and behavior problems.
The project is designed in partnership with
Home First Development
. "We start by understanding what an affordable rent would be. Then we back in to the expenses of the project," says Rob Justus, co-owner of Home First Development. "Using this common sense approach, we're able to build what we call affordable-affordable housing," says Rose.
"PHC and its developer have done something extraordinary. They've managed to significantly drive down the costs associated with developing affordable housing, without public subsidy, and deliver quality units at rents people can afford," says Margaret Van Vliet, Director of Oregon Housing and Community Services.
The units are built to last. They feature
appliances and granite counter tops. The complex includes a community center, sport court and playground.
PHC initially began investing in housing in 1999 to provide affordable housing for its employees. With this newest opening, PHC now owns and manages nearly 700 total units in the Portland area, Albany and The Dalles. Its diverse portfolio serves its equally diverse community, including single family houses and apartments that range from studios to three-bedroom units.