Where We Are:
On Dec 1, in partnership with with Second Stories, PCRI, Urban League and NW Pilot Project, we submitted our Metro Housing Bond RFQ. This is the first, and HUGE, step towards welcoming new neighbors! The last week before submission was a flurry of gathering details negotiating relationships, and clarifying partnerships. It is clear that we share a common vision for caring for our vulnerable black and elderly neighbors. We will be building housing for folks at the 30-50% MFI, people who really need inexpensive housing.
I am VERY excited at the relationships we are developing, and the work that is ahead of us.
And we have a lot of work ahead: applying for funding, getting to know our partners, evaluating our current building, clarifying our vision for this project at St. Philip, and more. The affordable housing world is fast-paced, chaotic, and competitive. So, everything below could change, but I want to let you know where we are at right now.
Funding: Affordable Housing always involves a “stack” of funding and resources. The Metro Housing Bond is the first of many RFQ/Applications, just one item in the stack. If we receive this RFQ (Request for Qualifications) we will then formally apply for this money in mid-March. In mid-January, we will submit an RFQ for another chunk of funding to add to our stack, also for an application due in March. Our Development Partner is central to helping us apply for funding.
Partners: We are at the beginning of developing a relationship with UL, PCRI and NW Pilot Project. We will partner with each of these organizations in different ways, and for different lengths of time.
- Our Development Partners will help us clarify our vision, secure funding, and build the project. We will work with them a lot in the next few years. The current RFQ has Second Stories and PCRI as co-developers. Second Stories has done an amazing job at helping us understand the process of building Affordable Housing, helping us apply for funding, and securing partnerships. We are discussing their continuation as our formal development partners alongside PCRI (who wants to work with them).
- The Property Management Partner will manage the housing property once it is built. They will handle placing residents, caring for the building, and making hard decisions when residents fail to meet community guidelines. PCRI, who already manages many units of affordable housing, will be in this role.
- The Supportive Housing Service Providers are our key co-workers in caring for our neighbors. UL and NW Pilot Project (and perhaps others!) work with the management partner to ensure that our building isn’t just a roof over our neighbor’s heads, but that our neighbors have access to all they need to flourish: rental assistance, a trip to the local clinic, fresh groceries. They are the folks we will work with every day as we love our new neighbors.
Over the next 6 weeks, we have a lot of practical decisions in front of us. We need to:
- Establish a formal relationship with our development partners.
- Hammer out an understanding and development agreement between St. Philip, PCRI, UL, and our development partner.
- Decide if we can purchase the property next door (130 NE Knott), and then purchase it.
- Assess our current building for either fixing, remodeling, or rebuilding entirely.
Where We Are Going:
But the most important question for St. Philip is this: what kind of neighbors will we be?
Vision: At St. Philip, we know we want to care for our neighbors. We are open to who and how. We know we want to be worshipping at the corner of Knott & Rodney for decades to come. We are open using the same worship space, or rebuilding it around a shared community space.
Our parish work over the next few months and year is crucial. We need to listen to our neighbors, to hear from them the kind of neighbors they want us to be. To this end, our communications team will be setting up conversations, virtual “house meetings” with neighbors, strangers, the Albina Library Staff, Dishman Staff, the Eliot Neighborhood Association (and more), and we will be inviting members of St. Philip to participate, so stay tuned!
Thank you all for working to be awesome neighbors!