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Community Livability Grant Program

2/17/17: PDC Requests Community Livability Grant Proposals for Interstate Corridor URA

2/13/17: PDC Awards More than $840,000 in Community Livability Grants

Applications are open in Interstate Corridor URA for FY 2016-17

About the CLG

Each year, PDC seeks proposals from community-based organizations for projects that foster vibrant and healthy neighborhoods and improve the prosperity of area residents and businesses. Projects must be located within the Gateway Regional Center, Interstate CorridorLents Town Center, or Central Eastside Urban Renewal Areas (URAs), or Old Town/Chinatown neighborhood. Funds are available through the PDC Community Livability Grant Program for permanent, real property improvements. Projects must add, expand, or improve physical space.

Priority is given to projects that benefit communities of color or people with low incomes, and that promote widely shared prosperity. Such projects would, for example:

  • Support wealth creation opportunities for small business owners
  • Improve access to jobs and workforce development services
  • Honor and enhance the neighborhood’s cultural diversity and history
  • Deliver a community asset tailored to the community’s expressed priorities and opportunities
  • Align with the priorities of the North/Northeast Community Development Initiative; build community prosperity by supporting growth, development and sustainability of key community-based organizations that drive economic development outcomes and serve communities that have experienced displacement or not benefited from economic opportunities (e.g. African Americans, people of color, and people with disabilities).

Available Funds

In fiscal year 2016 - 2017, the following funds will be available:
  • Gateway Regional Center URA: $200,000
  • Lents Town Center URA: $250,000
  • Old Town/Chinatown Neighborhood: $200,000
  • Central Eastside URA: $100,000
  • Interstate Corridor URA: $300,000 
Typical grants range from $10,000 to $50,000; the maximum grant is $300,000. Grants are awarded through a competitive process.

CLG Award Recipients FY 2016-17

Expand all

  • Lents Town Center

  • Gateway Regional Center

  • Central Eastside

  • Old Town/Chinatown

Community Livability Grants – making a difference in neighborhoods across the city

Portland Mercado

Portland Mercado

Portland’s first and only Latino public market opened officially on Saturday, April 11, 2015 with La Gran Apertura - a grand opening party that drew founders and supporters of the years-long project to celebrate its completion.

Five years in the making, the Portland Mercado, developed by Hacienda CDC on PDC-owned property at 7238 SE Foster Road, hosts more than 15 Latino-owned businesses and food trucks offering everything from fresh produce and flowers to Cuban-Argentine fusion food. PDC helped throughout the planning process with grant funding and developing the concept and the business plan.

A $201,959 Community Livability Grant during FY 2013-14 funded the construction of a 500-square-foot commissary Kitchen and cold and frozen storage units, a $432,000 project within the Mercado site and an essential part of the larger development. The kitchen serves as incubation space for Latinx entrepreneurs and can be used for nutrition and enrichment classes as well.

The Portland Mercado received the City of Portland’s 2014 Spirit of Portland award, has increased job capacity at Hacienda CDC and for small businesses in the region, and created 76 new jobs in the first quarter of operations.

PDC’s total investment in the project was more than $1 million, and the agency has extended a long-term lease of the property to Hacienda for $1 per year.  We’ve been proud to contribute to a project that creates such a strong sense of community and place for Latinos and honors diverse cultures in our city.

North by Northeast Community Health Center

Neighbors, friends, and past and present patients of the North by Northeast Community Health Center gathered on Friday, October 21, 2016 to celebrate the opening of the clinic's newly renovated, larger home at 714 NE Alberta. The clinic was founded in 2005 by Dr. Jill Ginsburg and the late Pastor Mary Overstreet Smith, whose daughters spoke emotionally about their mother's commitment to the neighborhood and to services focused on the local African-American population.

PDC provided $366,000 in Community Livability Grant funds to make most of the necessary improvements to turn the building into a first-class health center. Supporters set a fundraising goal of $100,000 to finish the renovations for the Center, which is the only clinic in Oregon focused on African-American health. 

PDC programs encourage progress toward the goal of healthy, complete neighborhoods  - and community livability grants are especially targeted to assist projects that promote resilient, caring communities.

The new home for the Health Center allowed a local landmark to remain in African-American ownership as a vital community asset, where both longtime patients and newer visitors can take advantage of primary care services, education, and health screenings. In addition, this redevelopment project directly fulfills the North/Northeast Community Development Initiative goal to foster economic prosperity among African-Americans and people of color. 

Old Town Soundscape Installation

The Community Livability Grant can be used to honor and enhance a neighborhood's cultural diversity and history, as demonstrated by an innovative project in Old Town/Chinatown.

A $40,000 grant awarded in 2015 to Innovative Housing, Inc. supported the creation of multi-ethnic soundscape installations to bring Old Town history to life. On Thursday, September 15, 2016, neighbors and residents celebrated the first installation on NW 2nd Avenue between Burnside and Couch, in front of the Erickson Fritz Apartments.

"The Erickson Saloon, 1890-1920" evokes August Erickson's Workingman's Saloon, between 1890 and 1916 and is the first in a groundbreaking series of public sound art installations telling the story of past lives in Portland's Old Town, to be installed on the facades of buildings within the Skidmore/Old Town Historic District. The soundscapes are designed by historian Jacqueline Peterson-Loomis and sound recordist Larry Johnson and produced in collaboration with Charles Morrow of Charles Morrow Sound, Inc. Oregon Cultural Trust also provided funding. 

Future soundscapes will tell the story of the Greek community in Old Town circa 1925-1960, the Jewish immigrant experience from 1925-1960, and the Japanese American experience from 1915-1941. Each soundscape will be installed on a historic building within a three-block radius to provide visitors a self-guided tour through Old Town's past. 

Malden Court Community Orchard

Lents Grown isn't just the area's tagline - it's the literal description of a project funded by the Community Livability Grant program that created a community orchard in a once-vacant lot at SE 87th Avenue and SE Malden Court.

PDC provided a $30,000 grant to the Green Lents project, nearly a third of the total $100,000 cost.

The Malden Court Community Orchard (MCCO), designed and developed by neighbors in the community, is intended to serve as a long-term source of fresh produce in the Lents neighborhood. MCCO also serves as a publicly accessible green space; improves public safety, the watershed health of Johnson Creek, and neighborhood livability; and provides environmental education opportunities for local schools and the surrounding community.

A rainy-day opening on Saturday, September 17, 2016 did not deter the orchard's enthusiastic volunteers and supporters. MCCO is now a young food forest with more than 250 native and fruit-bearing plants, and much room for development and growth. 

Contact us

For program updates, join our email list (under Email Options, choose Projects & Programs > Community Livability Grant).

For more information, contact:

Alison Wicks

503-823-3949 or email