Harvey Rice Heritage: Affordable Housing for Communities of Color
Press Release (Friday, August 14th, 2020)
Project Spirit by S|EA Architecture Firm
Infill development on two scattered sites owned by Sabin CDC in NE Portland.
Existing affordable housing to be replaced with greater density.
The Harvey Rice Heritage seeks to honor Sabin’s current Board Chair who, through activism and civic engagement, is a community leader whose work has touched so many throughout Greater Portland. Whether through his work at Tri-Met, Portland State, the AARP, his Church, or the African American Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Harvey’s voice can be heard as an advocate for the strengthening of community ties, for an understanding of human frailty, and for reaching across the table to shake someone’s hand. Sabin CDC’s Board Chair since 2013, Mr. Harvey has guided Sabin from a struggling organization to a thriving one that is looking to expand its future opportunities to serve the traditionally African American population of Inner N/NE Portland. We would like to honor Mr. Harvey’s legacy of civic participation and advocacy with permanent structures that will provide shelter and opportunity for those who would otherwise be displaced.
Mr. Bobby Fouther (Sabin Program Committee of the Board) is assisting Sabin with the development of community art spaces in the two (2) buildings that will be named after local African American artists, Isaka Shamsud-Din and Charlotte Lewis, who worked in NE Portland and each wove their African-American heritage with their art as a means of strengthening the voice of their community. The legacy of these artists reverberate throughout the community in their art, teachings, and activism.While each worked in unique media, they often collaborated to produce, through their drawings, murals, paintings, and textiles, a permanent history of a community that has been disbanded by the forces of gentrification.
These new apartment complexes honor Shamsud-Din and Lewis and embody Sabin CDC’s commitment to honoring and preserving NE Portland’s African American and marginalized communities by expanding housing opportunities for low-income individuals and families who are drawn to Sabin’s history of housing long-time and returning neighborhood residents who would otherwise be displaced by the gentrification of Portland’s traditional African American community. By reintroducing NE Portland to these important artists and their work, Sabin seeks not only to create affordable housing opportunities, but also to strengthen the voice of communities at risk of displacement.
As stewards of affordable housing, Sabin CDC strives to preserve economic and racial diversity in neighborhoods where housing costs have increased exponentially since 1990, while incomes have become more polarized. Our resident demographics mimic the overall neighborhood composition in 1990: incomes average 20-50% of median, resident age is above median, 27% of our residents identify as disabled, and 76% of our residents identify as African American or Multi- Racial. Because of our relatively small scale, Sabin is an approachable institution where word-of-mouth has provided a pathway for marginalized populations and people of color to affordable housing in Inner N/NE Portland. The neighborhoods that Sabin serves historically had composed the heart of Portland’s African- American community, one that was
redlined and suffered from subsequent disinvestment. When Sabin CDC began in 1991, its role was as a revitalizer by investing in the renovation of abandoned buildings; now, its role is that of a preservationist to ensure that low-income and at-risk residents can remain in the neighborhoods. Because stable housing is a first step to economic and social stability, Sabin CDC’s role as a provider of affordable housing is one way to dismantle barriers and improve community conditions overall by consistently pursuing an agenda that places people first.
(Sites A & B marked)
(Sites A & B)
A. Isaka Shamsud-Din:
5421 NE 14th Place
Featuring (6) Studio, (12) One-Bedroom, and
(11) Two-Bedroom Units
for a total of 29 Dwelling Units
B. Charlotte Lewis:
5740 NE 72nd Avenue
Featuring (2) Two-Bedroom, and (10) Three-Bedroom Units
for total of 12 Dwelling Units
C. Combined Total between Sites A & B:
(6) Studio, (12) One-Bedroom,
(13) Two-Bedroom and (10) Three-Bedroom Units
for a Grand Total of 41 Dwelling Units
Grand Opening in Winter of 2022