Stephens Creek Crossing Opening Celebration on June 6

More than 200 people, including a leadership class from Robert Gray Middle School, gathered on June 6 to celebrate the opening of Stephens Creek Crossing, Home Forward’s third and final HOPE VI redevelopment.

HOPE VI is a federal program to redevelop the nation’s most troubled public housing into vibrant communities connected to the surrounding neighborhood.  In 2011, the program’s last grant year, Home Forward received an $18.5 million award from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development that anchored financing for the $53 million redevelopment.

Stephens Creek Crossing, located in Southwest Portland, replaces the isolated and blighted Hillsdale Terrace public housing with a new community of opportunity that features 122 apartment homes in a variety of styles, two community gardens, playgrounds, and an opportunity center with meeting and classroom space and a teaching kitchen.

About a third of the 49 households living at Hillsdale Terrace when Home Forward received the grant have chosen to return.  The remaining residents are from a waiting list of nearly 3,000 households.

“Like our previous HOPE VI communities, New Columbia and Humboldt Gardens, a major goal for Stephens Creek Crossing was to connect residents with the larger community,” said Steve Rudman, Home Forward’s executive director.  “We also have a strong focus on kids succeeding in school and adults achieving in the work place.  We’ve learned from our earlier HOPE VI communities that addressing both generations is critical to a family’s success.”

A Children’s Center sits at the new gateway to the property at Capitol Highway and SW 26th.  The center, which is just finishing construction, will offer Head Start classes, as well as support programs for parents.  Local non-profit Neighborhood House will operate the center.  The long-time Home Forward partner surpassed $1 million in fund raising for the center, more than $800,000 of which was from the local community.

Adult residents who are able to work must participate in Home Forward’s GOALS program, which promotes economic independence.  As their income increases, the additional rent GOALS participants pay (rent is a percentage of their income) goes into a savings account they have access to when they graduate from the program.

Other features of the Stephens Creek Crossing redevelopment include:

  • Support for seven first-time homeownership opportunities in partnership with Habitat for Humanity.  Home Forward underwrote the cost of the land for the nearby homes.
  • Construction of a new traffic light at the corner of SW 26th and Capitol Highway.  Home Forward financed the light and the Mittleman Jewish Community Center, which is across the street and so benefits from the signal, will provide family fitness programs and summer camp opportunities for Stephens Creek Crossing residents.
  • Sustainable, green building features, such as bioswales to manage 100% of the storm water on site and Energy Star lighting and appliances and finishes to ensure clean indoor air quality.  The rainwater features, along with extensive site work to remove the “bowl” that Hillsdale Terrace sat in, mitigate the moisture issues that plagued the old apartments.

Click here for more information on the redevelopment


Updated on June 11, 2014