October 28, 2005

Wyden, Smith Announce $16.8 Millionfor Public Housing Revitalization

Washington, DC Senators Ron Wyden and Gordon Smith announced that the Housing Authority of Portland will receive over $16.8 million to revitalize the Iris Court public housing development."These funds will go a long way toward providing much-needed quality affordable housing in the Humboldt neighborhood and a safe and thriving community overall," said Wyden. "Investing in projects with grants like these not only benefits Oregon families who need help the most, but also boosts our economy as a whole."Quality of life in a city is about the quality of the lives led by its citizens, Smith said. Its not just a matter of building nicer homes, its providing education, job training, and support for people who want to create a better world for themselves and their families.Located in the Humboldt neighborhood in north Portland, the Iris Court Cluster is currently comprised of 101 public housing units and seven non-residential units. The Housing Authority of Portland (HAP) has proposed replacing the complex with 100 units of public housing and 29 affordable rental units. HAPs plan also includes 21 affordable homeownership units on scattered site parcels of single-family homes HAP currently owns in Humboldt and surrounding neighborhoods within threemiles of the Iris Court Cluster.The plan will incorporate traditional architectural, traffic patterns and landscape features of residential neighborhoods. The revitalized development will provide housing and programs that will foster self-sufficiency among residents with a range of incomes, including adult education, job training, apprenticeships and other programs.The HOPE VI Program was developed as a result of recommendations by National Commission on Severely Distressed Public Housing, which was charged with proposing a National Action Plan to eradicate severely distressed public housing. The Commission recommended revitalization in three general areas: physical improvements, management improvements, and social and community services to address resident needs. To date, HUD has awarded approximately $5.7 billion in HOPE VI Revitalization grants.