PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — There has been a lot about the city’s ongoing plans to tackle the homeless crisis and on Thursday, Portland saw a major step in the right direction as 100 new affordable housing units opened up in Old Town for low-income and homeless residents.
This is the third new construction Portland housing bond project to open since voters passed the bond six years ago.
Speakers say The Starlight was worth the wait, as it now will become home to many in need in Old Town, which could really use the help.
Located in the Old Town district off 6th Avenue and Flanders Street, Central City Concern says the building will provide 70 housing units for people experiencing chronic homelessness and 30 units for those on limited incomes.
CCC President Andy Mendenhal said most importantly the project will offer culturally specific services for tenants belonging to communities of color.
“We know homelessness can happen to anybody. Racial inequities limit access to affordable housing, behavioral health care and living wage jobs. These conditions have led to higher numbers of Black Indigenous and other people of color in Portland’s homeless population,” he said.
The project is the third of six to open this year and is funded by the Portland Housing Bond.
“When they get their keys, open up that door, and close it behind them and they sit there in that room, they look and they say, ‘hey this is me now,'” said Patrick Alexander with CCC.
Alexander, who used to live on the streets, told KOIN 6 News after getting into transitional housing with CCC, he was able to move into his apartment and now has a job recruiting employees for The Starlight.
“If we don’t offer housing to everybody, and allow everybody to tell their stories, you never would have heard of a Patrick Alexander. And there’s so many more powerful stories that came before me and there’s gonna be more powerful stories that came after,” he said.
Tenants will start moving in on Dec. 12.