Alberta Street and the surrounding neighborhood exists today as one of the trendier places to live in Portland. There are popular restaurants, galleries, and stores, surrounded by a neighborhood of older homes and new infill homes that make for prime real estate. However, much of the street’s vitality has come at a cost: the dislocation Portland’s historic Black community. The neighborhood was initially developed around a streetcar line, and became a haven for African American families, especially after the Vanport Flood in 1948. It became the rich cultural center for Black Portlanders; however, due to racist practices, the neighborhoods around Alberta Street were systematically redlined and disinvested, leaving them in a state vulnerable to gentrification. Since the early 2000s, housing prices have soared, and many long-time residents have been pushed further north to N. Portland and Vancouver and east to an area known as “the numbers.”
Sabin CDC started in 1991 when neighbors could see the beginning of Alberta Street’s gentrification taking off. Today, Sabin CDC is one of the only affordable housing providers in the area who have successfully saved space for NE Portland’s disenfranchised Black residents. Sabin CDC resident incomes average 20-50% of the median and 76% of our tenants identify as Black or Multi-Racial, a demographic that mimics the overall neighborhood composition that existed in 1990.
As a part of the Sabin’s focus on equity and environmental justice, our organization is committed to creating space for our residents to actively participate in making their neighborhood a more sustainable place for the benefit of all. Sabin is intentionally prioritizing our residents’ health and sense of belonging by adding new pollinator and vegetable gardens to the grounds of six of our existing properties and to the rooftops of our two buildings that are scheduled to break ground in 2020. Because green spaces have been correlated with improved mood, decreased stress, and an increased sense of belonging in neighborhoods nationwide, benefits are far reaching and will improve both our ecological impact and our residents’ access to fresh food.
Your donation will support the creation of these gardens and the affordable housing that is vital to the preservation of our tenants’ community and culture with the intention of positive impacts for all neighborhood residents. Each donation will be matched dollar for dollar by a Sabin supporter, up to $25,000.