“There is an unprecedented and growing demand for affordable and accessible housing in our area. People value community and rely on each other to get by, but neighborhoods are changing rapidly and marginalized people are heavily impacted. The introduction of the Our Home concept of community is timely.
Bringing people together of different ages, incomes, abilities, and homeownership opportunity fulfills an important and unmet community need. Multnomah County Aging, Disability, & Veterans Services Division supports Our Home, ICC’s efforts to bring together this new model of neighborhood to the community.”
Rebecca Miller, MPA
Planning & Development Specialist
Department of County Human Services
Aging, Disability & Veterans Services Division
“I have been a clinical social worker in private practice for almost 40 years. With the progression of my husband’s condition and the diagnosis of my son, I began specializing in living with disability in the family. I have had countless clients, many of whom are parents of children with disabilities. They also lie awake worrying about their child’s physical and emotional well-being when they are no longer able to support them and advocate for their needs.
There are economic realities that point to the need for many such housing opportunities. We cannot currently predict the political future of government funding that supports people with disabilities to remain in their own community. In addition, the Portland housing market has become one of the more expensive markets in the country. The extreme need for affordable housing is even more apparent today.”
Lisa A Lieberman, MSW, LCSW
“As past president of the National Disability Rights Network as well as father to a young adult with intellectual disabilities I write in support of this project. No issue is more crucial that housing options for our community.
Alicia DeLashmutt and I have been acquainted for ten years and have had the opportunity to discuss this project in depth many times. It is the desire of people with disabilities and seniors to live in a home of their choice and to age in place. In making a housing choice there are certain things people need and all of them are present in this project proposal.
- Learning and growing together as a community and as individuals
- Creating a true sense of belonging
- Cooperative decision making
- Sharing and respect
- Reciprocity – the opportunity to both give and to receive
- A strong connection to the surrounding neighborhood, city and region
Portland, Oregon lacks home ownership opportunities that intentionally reach out to bring together people with different abilities, ages and incomes. Our Home is a unique approach with great potential to address a serious and persistent problem.”
Michael T Bailey J.D., Ph.D.
“As an owner responsible for housing 6,500 low-income households or over 10,000 residents in the metro area, I see first-hand the challenges that our families face when they are isolated or non-connected to broader community supports. When crises happen, most of us rely on family members or close neighbors to help us overcome that crisis. Our families, who are renters, may not feel comfortable sharing with their landlord when they are struggling, and they are reluctant to reach out for assistance. Imagine having a built-in community service team that can help each other ride these waves!
In the affordable housing world, everyone needs to income qualify to live in one of our apartment communities. But, a family should not be defined by what income they earn, disability they were with or developed over time, or age. A community not defined by any particular demographic group represents a societal ideal that few have been able to achieve. Homeownership opportunities for inclusive and diverse communities are rare, but offer so much for the long-term economic and social stability for those residents.”
Molly C. Rogers
Director of Asset Management
“We agree with the development of intentionally diverse community that provides individuals and families of all kinds to live in community together. Segregated housing based on deficits and services vs natural supports and choice specifically for people who experience disability is not an appropriate option and can lead to isolation and worsening quality of life. Providing options for people including those who want to age in a home of their choice and families that are below median income appeals to me both personally or professionally
There is a growing demand for this type of community living in Portland, especially given the growing housing crisis and the concern families have for those who cannot compete in this hot market. We are hoping to bring additional subsidy to the project to provide homes affordable to working families and individuals in a historically diverse neighborhood where so many are priced out.
I believe that communities benefit from a diverse population where each individual has the opportunity to be appreciated for their strengths and gifts. None of us go it alone in our lives.
“I am impressed with Our Home ICC as a new model – it is truly innovative and could be a replicable model for countering the exclusionary trends that we are witnessing in our communities. A successful Our Home ICC would complement the work of community development organizations like REACH.
I strongly encourage you to consider playing a role as an investor or lender to this innovative project. It is a unique opportunity with an exciting vision that I believe will prove to be a new and replicable model for neighborhood development – a model that is driven by local residents who value diversity, inclusion and are hungry to maintain a sense of belonging within their community.”
REACH Community Development
“St. Johns Center for Opportunity is a grassroots community development organization focused on building economic opportunity for people who live or work in the St. Johns and Cathedral Park neighborhoods of Portland. One of our core areas of work is advocating for more affordable housing resources to be invested in our community.
We believe that the Our Home – Cathedral Park project is an important and exciting addition to the community. We are especially thrilled to support and partner with the Our Home – Cathedral Park project because we value their vision and commitment to promoting an equitable and inclusive community. Portland seriously lacks home ownership opportunities that intentionally bring people together with different abilities, ages and incomes. We want to foster a diverse neighborhood where each individual has the opportunity to be appreciated for their strengths and gifts, and we know that this project is leading the charge on these fronts.”
St Johns Center for Opportunity
“As the mother of a 25 year old daughter with cerebral palsy, I am bewildered at the paltry prospects that are available to her to move out on her own. She needs very little support, but she does need some support, and that would not work in an apartment on her own. The idea of co-housing, and living in a community is appealing to my daughter, and given her the first ray of hope that she can move out and be independent. While paid supports are available to her, her needs are so small that it seems silly to pay someone to help her when a neighbor can take five minutes to support her.
It is very appealing that Our Home’s intention is one of being a diverse community. I want my daughter to be part of her community, not segregated in a group home or apartment complex inhabited only by other people with disabilities. When we are neighbors with people who are different, we all benefit.”
Family Support Director
United Cerebral Palsy of Oregon & SW Washington
“I am the parent of a young woman who experiences Autism Spectrum Disorder and have worked with families of children with special health needs and developmental differences for 27 years. The option to buy a whole neighborhood doesn’t exist for most of us. But with communities like Our Home, the vision of having safe, typical and respectable housing can absolutely be realized. If there were intentional communities like Our Home sprinkled throughout the state, in both the metro and suburban areas, people with intellectual disabilities would have more choices to live with dignity and as a part of their communities.”
Parent/Family Involvement Coordinator
Oregon Center for Children and Youth with Special Health Needs