Campus expansion for Portland YouthBuilders in Lents, capital improvements for Miracle Theater Group, and a Gateway health clinic for low-income clients are among the most significant awards

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

The Portland Development Commission (PDC) has announced its intent to award more than $840,000 in Community Livability Grants for fiscal year 2016-17 to projects in the Lents Town Center, Gateway Regional Center, and Central Eastside urban renewal areas (URAs) as well as in Old Town/Chinatown with funding from both River District and Downtown Waterfront URAs.

Five projects in Gateway, four projects in Lents, two projects in Old Town/Chinatown and two projects in Central Eastside will receive funding. The Community Livability Grant project list includes proposals that address health and wellness for diverse populations; honor neighborhood cultural and historical assets; promote youth education; and advance workforce development.

Successful grant applicants are 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.

PDC Executive Director Kimberly Branam said, “The number of successful applicants signals a growing awareness of this PDC grant program as a valuable tool to help communities fulfill neighborhood action plans and better serve diverse populations throughout the city.”

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 and enhance the neighborhood’s cultural diversity and history; and/or deliver a community asset tailored to the community’s expressed priorities and opportunities. In Lents, Gateway, and Old Town/Chinatown, priority was also given to projects that furthered the goals of the respective area’s action plan.

Paul Cole, executive director of Portland Adventist Community Services (PACS), the sponsor of the Gateway health clinic, said, “It is an honor to collaborate with the Portland Development Commission to improve livability in the Gateway Area, and we thank the PDC for this grant. It empowers PACS to redevelop a key property along the Halsey/Weidler Business District into a health center, while strengthening access to critical services like emergency food and primary health care for disadvantaged families.”

Jill Walters, Portland YouthBuilders’ executive director, said, “PYB is overjoyed by this Livability Grant award from the Portland Development Commission. PDC was an early and major supporter of PYB’s successful relocation to the Lents community in 2001, and with this grant we will be able to consolidate our programs and expand our capacity to serve young people in the community for years to come.”

Since 2006, PDC has awarded more than $5 million to 100-plus community livability projects across multiple urban renewal areas. This year’s awards will leverage an estimated $2.6 million in other funds and hundreds of hours of volunteer labor.

Requests for grant proposals in the Interstate Corridor Urban Renewal Area will open later this year, with priority given to projects that align with the North/Northeast Community Development Initiative Action Plan adopted by Portland City Council in January 2017. For more information and to receive notice of the proposal schedule, sign up on the PDC website.

To view the complete list of fund recipients visit: