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PDC awards Community Livability Grants for 2015

February 11, 2015

NAYA Generations in Lents and Ankeny Alley in Old Town are among the most significant awards

The Portland Development Commission (PDC) has announced its intent to award $829,203 in Community Livability Grants for fiscal year 2014-15 to projects in the Interstate Corridor, Lents Town Center, and Gateway Regional Center urban renewal areas (URAs) and, new this year, in Old Town/Chinatown with funding from both River District and Downtown Waterfront URAs.

Six projects in Interstate, three projects in Lents, four projects in Gateway and five projects in Old Town/Chinatown will receive funding. The Community Livability Grant project list includes the NAYA Generations Project, an intergenerational community for Native American foster families on the site of the long-vacant Foster School in the Lents neighborhood; and physical upgrades to SW Ankeny Alley, a closed right-of-way in Old Town.

PDC Executive Director Patrick Quinton said, "The proposals from this year’s grant recipients reflected the action plans and goals established by their respective communities. We’re confident that each of these projects presents the opportunity to work with stakeholders to make a real difference in underserved communities as we work to create healthy, complete neighborhoods throughout Portland."

Community members representing each of the URAs, members of the Neighborhood Economic Development Leadership Group, and PDC staff comprised the grant evaluation committee.

Grant applicants were required to make a good faith effort to contract with State of Oregon certified Minority-Owned, Woman-Owned, Disadvantaged or Emerging Small Businesses (M/W/D/ESBs). This year’s grant awardees project the effort could result in approximately $1 million of work for M/W/D/ESB certified contractors. In addition, two of the recipients, Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization (IRCO) and Central City Concern, will emphasize job training and workforce development as critical components of their projects; a third, Green Lents, will have Portland Youth Builders (PYB) students construct the fence and garden shed at the Malden Court Community Orchard as part of PYB’s construction training program.

To view the complete list of fund recipients visit: www.pdc.us/clg

The Community Livability Grant Program, administered by PDC, awards funding annually to projects that involve physical improvements to community facilities, open spaces or historic/cultural preservation. The program invests in facilities and other neighborhood assets that foster vibrant and healthy neighborhoods within the Interstate Corridor, Lents Town Center and Gateway Regional Center urban renewal areas, and the Old Town/Chinatown neighborhood (bridging the River District and Downtown Waterfront URAs.)

This year’s awards will leverage an estimated $2 million in other funds and hundreds of hours of volunteer labor. Since 2006, PDC has awarded more than $3 million to 77 community livability projects in the Interstate Corridor and Lents Town Center URAs.

“Grassroots, community-led initiatives are a critical part of fostering thriving, sustainable communities,” says Jalene Littlejohn, Co-Founder of Green Lents. “I am so pleased that CLG funds will help our partnership, the Friends of Malden Court Community Orchard, transform an unutilized lot along the Springwater Trail in the Lents neighborhood into a community space with fresh, healthy food to share.”

Contact: Shawn Uhlman, PDC, 503-823-7994