Home Forward Receives $18.6 Million HOPE VI Grant

May 23, 2011 -- Home Forward, the new name for the Housing Authority of Portland, has been awarded an $18.5 million HOPE VI Revitalization Grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to implement a comprehensive redevelopment of the Hillsdale Terrace public housing property located in southwest Portland.

"We're honored to receive our third HOPE VI grant, and are pleased that HUD recognized the tremendous need for this revitalization project," said Steve Rudman, executive director, Home Forward.  "We're ready to hit the ground running and begin work on building a brighter future for all of our residents at Hillsdale Terrace."

Portland City Commissioner Nick Fish said, "Congratulations to our partner Home Forward.  The HOPE VI grant is great news for our city.  It will improve the lives of families living at Hillsdale Terrace, create family-wage construction jobs, strengthen connections to the surrounding community, and continue Portland's tradition of leadership in green buildings."

Home Forward credits its deep experience with the HOPE VI program, its successful track record for delivering these projects on time and on budget, and a strong community engagement program as factors in its successful application.  Previous HOPE VI grnats were received for redevelopments at New Columbia and Humboldt Gardens.

Built more than 40 years ago, Hillsdale Terrace is beyond repair and in serious need of attention.  Located in the Multnomah neighborhood, the property is situated in a six-acre, bowl-like setting and is home to very low-income residents.  Hillsdale Terrace is comprised of 60 three-bedroom public housing units, which will be removed and replaced with 122 units of varying bedroom sizes.  An additional seven off-site homes, developed in partnership with Habitat for Humanity, will be available for first-time homeowners.  The redevelopment will incorporate sustainable and green building features, a community garden/urban farm space, a community center for residents and neighbors, and more open space and play area.

Three broad area of resident services will include job training leading to family wage jobs through a partnership with Worksystems, Inc.; educational and achievement of youth including a children's education center and Head Start classrooms; and programs to support the overall health and wellness of the Hillsdale Terrace community.

"We're grateful to the residents, community partners and neighbors who contributed to our successful application," said Rudman, "With this grant, we're able to begin anew with a clean slate and a sustainable design.  Our highest priority now is to make this process go smoothly for our residents and the community."

Home Forward narrowly missed in its first effort to secure a HOPE VI grant for Hillsdale Terrace in 2009.  "Despite not winning the first time around, we refused to give up on our vision for helping these residents. The need here is so strong that we sharpened our focus and worked even harder to enhance our origianl plan," he continued.

In the redesigned plan, Home Forward improved Hillsdale Terrace's physical and social connection to the larger neighborhood by expanding its site, creating a network of green spaces to be shared by adjacent properties, and working on stronger relationships with neighbors.

Redevelopment of the property is estimated to cost $47.3 million.  In addition to the HUD grant, financing will come from $5 million in funds pledged by the City of Portland, the sale of Low-Income Housing Tax Credits, and proceeds from the sale of Home Forward's scattered site portfolio.  Neighborhood House, Worksystems, Inc., and Multnomah County were three of 35 local organizations that submitted letters of support along with matching funds to assist both current and future Hillsdale Terrace residents.  Other key partners in the redevelopment include the City of Portland, the state's Oregon Housing and Community Services, and Habitat for Humanity.