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The Cathedral Village Apartments would include 110-units of Affordable Housing. | Credit: Permit Renderings via City of Portland

Cathedral Park — Changes are afoot in Cathedral Park that will change the neighborhood for decades to come.

Last week, the Portland City Council approved allocating $17.4 million toward the Cathedral Village Apartments, which will include 110 units of affordable, family housing.

During the council meeting broadcast online, Portland Commissioner Carmen Rubio said this was what mission-centered work looks like when we’re talking about helping our most vulnerable.  

“It is heartening to see development projects like this with a mix of multiple and the deep affordability that are really built for families of today.  … And are able to center the communities needs first and foremost.”

“It is heartening to see development projects like this with a mix of multiple and the deep affordability that are really built for families of today.  … And are able to center the communities needs first and foremost.”

Portland Commissioner Carmen Rubio

The total cost for the public-private project is $37.7 million and includes Catholic Charities of Oregon and Related Northwest as partners. The Catholic Charities of Oregon also developed the Kenton Women’s Village in North Portland. 

Construction is expected to start later this month and be completed in August 2022. The development was announced in September 2019.

A Village in Cathedral Park

The Cathedral Village development with its 110 units is estimated to house 263 people when it is completed, according to the city. The four-story complex would have 37 apartments reserved for households earning less than 30% of the area median income, which is currently about $19, 350 for a one-person household, said Molly Rogers, Deputy Director of the Portland Housing Bureau. 

Bedroom SizeUnits

The remaining 73 units would be reserved for those earning less than 60% of the area median income. Rents would range from $431 for a studio apartment for someone making less than 30% of the AMI to $1,338 for a three-bedroom apartment at 60% AMI. The apartments are restricted to being affordable housing for 99 years.

The Current Site for the Cathedral Village Apartments at N. Burlington Avenue and N. Crawford Street. | Credit: Nathan Isaacs

The proposed site is at the corner of North Burlington Avenue and North Crawford Street. The Willamette River is a short walk away to the south over a set of railroad tracks. The completed building will include community space on the ground floor, on-site management, secure bicycle storage, and parking in a central courtyard. It also will be solar and Electric vehicle ready, Rogers said.

The Cathedral Village Apartments would face the Willamette River. | Credit: Nathan Isaacs

Portland City Commissioner Dan Ryan said the project is progress toward reducing chronic homelessness.

“There is a lot to like about this project,” Ryan said. “It is a big step that we’re taking as a city to provide affordable family housing. I think the key word for me is family. Great access to James John elementary school; you have on site music programs; you’re next to a park; and we actually have two- and three-bedroom units.”

Setting Aside Permanent Supportive Housing

Eight of the 37 units will be designated as Permanent Supportive Housing and will provide housing for those households who are experiencing homelessness or are at risk of being homeless.

These units receive additional onsite support, ranging from mental health to parenting and financial counseling to help individuals and families receive the support they need to get back on their feet and be successful. Additionally, Vibe of Portland will be providing a music and arts after school program. 

Portland Housing Bond

The $17.4 million the council approved for Cathedral Village comes from the $258 million Portland Housing Bond, which was approved by voters in 2016.

Since the bond went into effect, 12 projects and 1,490 housing units have been created or are in the process of being created, Rogers said. She said that was the equivalent of housing more than 3,000 people.  That is 15%, or 190 units, more than the initial goal of the bond.

Other Cathedral Park Projects

Rogers said work was expected to get started on Cathedral Village after financing was completed this week. 

Crews have started work repaving Edison Street and building our a section of John Street. | Credit: Nathan Isaacs

But if you were to visit the area, you’d already see construction crews in the area. Those are working with the Portland Bureau of Transportation on repaving Edison Street between Richmond and Burlington, as well as build out John Street between Edison and Crawford. 

Also in the works nearby is at least one other large apartment complex. When the North Richmond Apartments are built out, they will include 96 residential units.

And as previously reported in NOPO This Week, a walk-on passenger ferry would make a stop at a new dock at Cathedral Park.