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Community Livability Grant Program

12/22/15: PDC awards Community Livability Grants for 2015-2016

NOTE: Applications for FY 2015-16 closed Friday, November 13 at 5:00 p.m.

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 Corridor, Lents Town Center, or Central Eastside Urban Renewal Areas, 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

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 2015-16

Expand all

  • Interstate Corridor

  • Lents Town Center

  • Gateway Regional Center

  • Old Town / Chinatown

  • Central Eastside

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 Latino 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.

Earl Boyles Early Learning Wing & Neighborhood Center

Earl Boyles Center

A $300,000 Community Livability Grant supported the $1.5 million renovation of a 5,500 square foot portion of Earl Boyles Elementary at 10822 SE Bush Street into a centralized community center offering economic opportunity, health-related services and community meeting space. The grant also funded the relocation and renovation of a publicly-accessible U-11 soccer field and ADA K-5 playground. The location of the new center overlaps two neighborhoods in the Gateway Urban Renewal Area: Lents and Powellhurst Gilbert.

The community center is part of the $7 million Early Learning Wing built at Earl Boyles. Representatives of the David Douglas School District joined government officials and community members to celebrate the opening of the center on Thursday, September 18, 2014. The “One School, One Culture” concept co-locates school and community services, helping to break down access, language and childcare barriers that often prevent low-income families, particularly immigrants, from using these services.

Arbor Lodge Urban Farm

Arbor LodgePDC’s $47,000 grant to non-profit Vocoform transformed a vacant, junk-filled lot into an urban farm, community gathering spot, and vocational training site for disadvantaged youth. The half-acre space at 6901 N. Interstate Avenue in the Interstate Corridor Urban Renewal Area acts as a training lab, using internships and apprenticeships to teach at-risk young adults ages 18-24 the hands-on operation skills involved in running a small urban farm.

Vocoform, which operates other small-scale job training projects including a coffee shop and food cart, helps young adults identify and pursue their vocations through a holistic approach of skill development, life coaching, and enterprise operation/ownership. Its primary focus is on individuals ages 18-25 who face barriers including poverty, addiction, broken family ties and racial injustice.
Plenty of volunteer work parties went into preparing the site, which celebrated its official ribbon cutting on Saturday, April 5, 2014 and now has 58 raised beds dedicated to food production.  Arbor Lodge Urban Farm jumped right into the business of urban farming, with a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program and a Facebook page featuring photos of the farm participants and recipes using its harvested produce.

Albina Green

The public space at the corner of N. Albina Ave & N. Sumner St. was a vacant, tax-foreclosed property until a group of neighbors worked with Multnomah County and the City to convert it to a park in 1998-99. In 2013-14, a PDC Community Livability Grant to the Humboldt Neighborhood Association supported renovations to make the park even more welcoming and accessible. The Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods played a role behind-the-scenes as the project’s fiscal sponsor – handling the money and invoices and providing administrative support.
The changes to Albina Green have been subtle, but significant. Fencing was removed from the north and west sides of the property, and replaced with an L-shaped raised area constructed of masonry and soil with grass on top. This created an ADA-accessible space for performances, picnics and events, and provides seating with a front-row view of activity along the street. A unique car-bumper bench previously at the park’s northwest corner is now at the east side of the park, and a community bulletin board is installed adjacent to the bus stop on N. Albina Avenue. Various landscape improvements include the replacement of four diseased street trees. Much of the work relied on contractors who live in Humboldt and adjacent neighborhoods, including several state-certified Minority, Women and Emerging Small Businesses.

The community celebrated the completion of the renovations at Art in the Park on Saturday, August 9, 2014.

Contact us

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

For more information, contact:

Enoch Aggrey
503-823-3915 or email

Susan Kuhn
503-823-3406 or email