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An artist displays his work at the Alberta Commons grand opening celebration in NE Portland which took place on July 20, 2019 on NE Alberta St and NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. (Photo by Jerry Foster)
By The Skanner News | The Skanner News
Published: 11 June 2020

Self Enhancement, Inc. (SEI), Oregon’s largest African American-led nonprofit multi-service organization, and Community Development Partners (CDP), a regional leader in affordable housing development, have announced plans to co-develop and co-own 52 units of affordable housing split across multiple sites along NE Alberta Street.

“Northeast Alberta is an important street for Black history in the City of Portland and it has come to represent a symbol of the toll gentrification has visited upon our community in terms of the displacement of Black families who can no longer afford to call NE Portland home,” said SEI President and CEO Tony Hopson, Sr. “Alberta Alive! will provide quality, affordable housing opportunities for Black families and veterans combined with wraparound services for residents.

"While 52 units alone will not undo the legacy of gentrification, this project is a critically important step in the right direction.”

CDP and SEI submitted an application for 9% Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) to Oregon Housing and Community Services on June 1st. A funding decision is expected this summer. Once funding is secured construction will move forward on the two sites: NE 8th & Alberta and NE Grand & Alberta. The NE 8th site will have 31 units for Veterans and the NE Grand site will have 21 units, with a focus on serving families with children. SEI and the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will provide resident service programming to the properties.  Many of those services will be made available to the wider community. 

“It has been our focus first with the restoration of Alberta Abbey and now with these two additional sites to make Alberta Alive! a placemaking effort focused on supporting the African American community and low-income residents in permanently affordable community art spaces and housing with robust service offerings,” said CDP CEO Eric Paine. “We could not have a better partner than SEI to make this project part of a healthy, vibrant and diverse mixed-income Alberta neighborhood, where social equity is a living practice and not just an aspiration.”

“This project builds on the City of Portland’s N/NE Neighborhood Housing Strategy which established preference for individuals and households impacted by gentrification,” added Libra Ford. “We are ready to hit the ground running once funding is secured to turn those goals into actual housing that will benefit our community.”

About Community Development Partners

Community Development Partners (CDP) is a mission-driven organization committed to the development and operation of life-enhancing affordable housing with a focus on long-term community engagement. CDP developments are focused on enhancing whole neighborhoods by incorporating public spaces, cultural and social programming, and robust on-site services from local community partners into their projects. 

A certified B-corporation (social benefit corporation), CDP is dedicated to the highest standards of social and environmental stewardship, public transparency, and legal accountability—a reflection of their dedication to their mission and priority of impacts over profit. 

Founded in 2011 by brothers Eric and Kyle Paine, CDP has grown into a team of 22 professionals based in offices in Portland, Oregon and Newport Beach, California. Named a national Top 50 Affordable Housing Developer by Affordable Housing Finance for the third year in 2019, the CDP team has developed and now oversees 24 unique communities comprising over 2,000 units across Oregon, California, Arizona and Nevada. 

About Self Enhancement Inc. 

Founded in 1981, Self Enhancement Inc. (SEI) is dedicated to guiding underserved youth to realize their full potential. Working with schools, families, and partner community organizations, SEI provides support, guidance, and opportunities to achieve personal and academic success. SEI brings hope to individual young people and enhances the quality of community life. Today, SEI is Oregon’s largest African American-led nonprofit multi-service organization, and second-largest minority-operated employer. In 2018-19, SEI’s comprehensive services benefited over 16,300 K-12 students, youth ages 18-25, families, and individuals across the City of Portland and Multnomah County.

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