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

December 22, 2015

North by NE Community Health in Interstate, Friends of Gateway Green, and a playground improvement project for Oliver P. Lent School in Lents are among the most significant awards

The Portland Development Commission (PDC) has announced its intent to award more than $1.2 million in Community Livability Grants for fiscal year 2015-16 to projects in the Interstate Corridor, Lents Town Center, Gateway Regional Center, and, new this year, Central Eastside urban renewal areas (URAs) as well as in Old Town/Chinatown with funding from both River District and Downtown Waterfront URAs.

Six projects in Interstate, four projects in Lents, four projects in Gateway, three projects in Old Town/Chinatown and one project in Central Eastside will receive funding. The Community Livability Grant project list includes two Interstate proposals that address health and wellness for diverse populations; assistance for Boys and Girls Clubs in both Interstate and Lents; workforce development training in Interstate and Lents, and improvements to employment centers in Lents, Old Town/Chinatown and Central Eastside that serve diverse clientele.

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). PDC staff will work with this year’s awardees to identify potential M/W/D/ESB contractors for project work. In addition, three of the recipients, Wisdom of the Elders, Inc., Central City Concern, and Voz Workers’ Rights Education Project, emphasize job training and workforce development as critical components of their projects.

PDC Executive Director Patrick Quinton said, “It’s encouraging to see so many successful applications that align with both specific neighborhood action plans and PDC’s own strategic priorities to better serve diverse populations throughout the city and encourage the use of certified minority contractors.”

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

The Community Livability Grant Program, administered by PDC, gives funding priority to projects that improve access to jobs and workforce development services; support wealth creation opportunities for small business owners; honor/enhance the neighborhood’s cultural diversity and history; and/or deliver a community asset tailored to the community’s expressed priorities and opportunities.

Since 2006, PDC has awarded more than $3.8 million to 95 community livability projects across multiple urban renewal areas. This year’s awards will leverage more than an estimated $750,000 in other funds and hundreds of hours of volunteer labor.

Amanda Gerace, mother of a Lent School third grader and a PTA member, said, “It has been a longtime goal of the Lent School PTA to improve the unsafe, decrepit playground and create a more engaging, inclusive outdoor space for the children and greater community of Lents. Thanks to the CLG, our dreams can now become a reality. Happy, supported families contribute to a stronger, more vibrant community and the new playground will add such a wonderful asset to the neighborhood!”

“North by Northeast Community Health Center is the only health clinic in Oregon with a focus on African American health,” said Jill Ginsberg, MD MPH, medical director of the Center. “While we are proud of our success in advancing health equity, we know there is much work left to be done. We are excited to partner with PDC to increase our capacity and community impact through a new and larger facility.”

To view the complete list of fund recipients visit: PDC Community Livability Grant Program