Healthcare organizations invest millions in affordable housing

Creating 3 new complexes with 382 affordable housing units

A rendering of the Eastside Health Center, which will have 24-hour medical staffing and provide affordable housing to 176 people.  Sept. 23, 2016 (KOIN)
A rendering of the Eastside Health Center, which will have 24-hour medical staffing and provide affordable housing to 176 people. Sept. 23, 2016 (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — An unlikely partnership has come together to take on Portland’s housing crisis.

Six competing healthcare organizations have teamed up to invest $21.5 million directed toward the creation of 3 new affordable housing complexes.

“It all came together,” said Ed Blackburn, executive director of Central City Concern, the organization that orchestrated the project. “The opportunity and the will to make something happen came together and we worked on it for several months.”

Legacy Health, Adventist Health, Care Oregon, Kasier Permanente, OHSU and Providence Health and Services are all contributing to the creation of 382 new affordable housing units across three locations, including one with an integrated health center.

Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury said the partnership will be a huge step for taking on the county’s challenges in homelessness and healthcare.

“We need more affordable housing and we need it now,” Kafoury said. “This has got to be one of the most exciting projects and exciting partnerships that I have seen.”

Each of the 3 locations will be designed around serving a specific need.

The Interstate apartments in North Portland will have 51 units designed for families and to help displaced residents return to their neighborhood.

The Stark apartments in East Portland will provide 155 units for the working poor, or people making less than around $31,000 per year.

The Eastside Health Center will serve the medically fragile, along with people in recovery from addictions and mental illness. The building will offer 24-hour medical staffing and provide housing for 176 people.

Groundbreaking for all three projects is scheduled for next summer, with construction likely completed by the summer of 2018.

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