From Home Forward's press release:
Home Forward and partners celebrated completion of Phase 1 of the Dekum Court Apartments redevelopment in the Concordia neighborhood of Northeast Portland today. Originally built in 1972, Dekum Court will house at least 360 residents across 187 homes when complete. The community is being redeveloped in two phases to minimize disruption to residents currently living in 40 units. The 2018 Metro Affordable Housing Bond served as the catalyst for an additional 147 units.
“We’re thrilled to celebrate the 50-plus residents moving into their brand new homes, while breaking ground on the remaining 147 units,” said Home Forward CEO Ivory Mathews. “The stability of current residents has always been our top priority. And we’re beyond thrilled to provide many more homes to new families. We are also incredibly grateful to Portlanders who voted in support of the 2018 Metro Affordable Housing Bond. This is proof of progress.”
The first phase of the redevelopment is now complete and the second phase will be completed in summer of 2025. Phase I focused on replacing all 40 apartments currently on site before starting demolition to minimize disruption to families during the school year. Upon completion, the development will include 80 two-bedroom, 41 three-bedroom, and seven four-bedroom apartments.
“When families have a stable and affordable place to call home, along with the right support, they can thrive,” said Commissioner Rubio. “Dekum Court is an inspiring example of community involvement in the redevelopment planning process. It demonstrates our continued commitment to helping address Portland's affordable housing shortage.”
Households with incomes at or below 60% of the median family income will be eligible. Sixty-one of the new homes will be affordable to those earning 30% of area family income. Affordable homeownership options are also planned along the western boundary.
“Every family deserves a place to call home that they can afford,” said Metro Regional Housing Director Patricia Rojas “Metro was proud to provide funding for Dekum Court to help fill a well-known gap in familyfocused affordable housing. With multiple play areas, community spaces, and proximity to Faubion Elementary School, Dekum Court promises stability and success for the children who will grow up in this community.”
Dekum Court will not only enhance livability for current residents but will provide quality, affordable housing options for more Portland residents. This 5.3 acre property was identified as a prime location to add more units to the community. The organization says that as stewards of taxpayer dollars, it’s critical to maximize density to serve as many people as is reasonably possible. Home Forward is committed to strengthening the Dekum community reflecting its existing character and amenities while creating pedestrian-friendly connections, abundant access to shared outdoor spaces, and comfortable, well-lit environments for residents. The redevelopment will boast a spacious community room and multiple outdoor play areas.
Home Forward led robust community engagement efforts with residents' voices at the center, beginning the process by hosting a dinner with residents. The organization listened to their aspirations, concerns and suggestions, forming a bond that guided the design process. Home Forward also formed a large community advisory committee which provided input into the physical design of the property over 18 months.
Construction and design of Dekum Court is being led by Walsh Construction and Lever Architecture. With a firm commitment to offering living wages for women and people of color, the median wage for women working on Phase 1 was approximately $31 per hour. People of color performed 58% of the construction labor hours. 40% of the residents at Dekum Court, located in the historically Black Concordia neighborhood, identify as Black.
In addition to the voter-approved 2018 Metro Affordable Housing Bond dollars, other funding was made possible by Oregon Housing and Community Services, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Portland Housing Bureau, Chase Bank and Wells Fargo.