Housing Project Update: July 2023

Housing Project Update: July 2023

Dear SPTD friends, family, and members,

During the earlier part of this summer, members of our Vestry began the deliberate work to make decisions on how our journey into providing sustainable, affordable housing in our community might continue.  As previously mentioned in prior publications and in informal discussions, our partner, PCRI, was unable to remain committed to the Alcena project.  This was due to their own challenges around the current properties that they manage, and a workload that was over their own capacity to complete.

The challenging news is that it immediately looks like the $11 Million investment provided by the City of Portland was connected with their ability to do this project.  This is a discussion that I am continuing to gain clarification on.

The Vestry decided that we would not give up on the Alcena project despite this setback.  We deliberated for 2 months and ultimately decided on a path forward.  This includes reengaging our design partners at Second Stories and moving forward with a plan that provides affordable homeownership for previously incarcerated women of color with children. This design also includes a child care center and will require us to engage in the demolition of our current church footprint but includes a new worship space in the final building.  

This is the option that received the second highest level of support during our annual meeting.  The Vestry carefully weighed the first option (Option 1), and realized that the challenges and opportunities of housing cannot be all solved with one development.  We collectively decided that long-term ownership for our most vulnerable communities is reflective of our true commitment to this work.

Where we go from here:

Our plan is to re-engage Second Stories into this project and immediately get to work on refining our design for this project.  We will ascertain if the money from the previous project can be used as a part of this newest evolution.  Additionally, we are seeking grant funding from the state, private donors, and other sources to cover some of our project development costs, and ultimately to fund the construction of the Alcena.  We hope to have another update for the parish in 2 months that will outline our progress.

I encourage you to please send any questions, concerns, ideas, or other feedback to me via email to the office.  I appreciate deeply your commitment to St. Philip the Deacon and to our mission of being a vital presence in the lives of individuals, families, and the community.

Gary Carroll