Community Livability Grant

Community Livability Grant2021-04-29T13:30:41-07:00

Project Description

Community Livability Grant (CLG) Program

Contact: Sue Lewis, email

Fiscal Year 19-20

Each year, Prosper Portland seeks proposals from community-based organizations for projects that promote healthy, complete, and resilient neighborhoods, and respond to and respect the diversity of its residents. Projects must be located within:

Funds are available through the Community Livability Grant Program for permanent, real property improvements. Projects must add, expand, or improve physical space.

Priority will be given to projects that benefit historically underserved populations (e.g., communities of color or people with low income) and that promote widely shared prosperity. Such projects would, for example:

  • 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.
  • Deliver a community asset tailored to the community’s expressed priorities and opportunities.

Available Funds

In fiscal year 2019-2020, the following funds will be available:

Area Amount Available
Central Eastside TIF District $100,000
Gateway Regional Center TIF District $200,000
Interstate Corridor TIF District $300,000
Lents Town Center TIF District $200,000
Old Town / Chinatown Neighborhood $300,000

Important Dates

Applications for the 19/20 CLG Grant were due Friday, January 10, 2020 at 5:00 p.m.

Approved Proposals were announced in April 2020

Frequently Asked Questions

How many applicants apply for these grants?2020-04-23T15:39:56-07:00

Numbers vary each year; in 2019/20 34 applicants submitted proposals.

Who sits on the evaluation committee?2020-04-23T15:40:38-07:00

Each TIF district has an evaluation committee made up of volunteers who represent community organizations, neighborhood and business associations, and non-profit organizations as well as individual business owners and Prosper Portland staff. Evaluation committees also typically include a representative from a past CLG recipient organization.

What if an Evaluation Committee member has a conflict of interest?2020-04-23T15:41:26-07:00

Evaluation Committee members sign a Conflict of Interest form and are expected to recuse themselves if they have a conflict of interest.

What is the evaluation criteria?2020-04-23T15:42:05-07:00

Applications are evaluated on strength of the project relative to community benefit; community support and partnerships; and project feasibility, schedule and budget.

Is there a minimum length of time a non-profit must be in existence before they can apply for a grant?2020-04-23T15:42:51-07:00

There is no minimum.  Non-profits must be registered with the state as a DNP (Domestic Non-Profit), complete a W-9 and be in compliance with 501c3 status at the time funds are encumbered in a grant agreement.

Are letters of support required?2020-04-23T15:43:52-07:00

No, letters of support are optional.

How are grant recipients selected? Is there a list of alternates?2020-04-23T15:44:34-07:00

The evaluation committee reviews applications and makes award recommendations.  Prosper Portland’s Executive Director uses the committee recommendations in making the final decision on allocations of grant funds.

All grants are contingent on compliance with program guidelines.  If a recipient cannot meet the guidelines in a timely manner, the award is rescinded, and the funds placed are back in the CLG budget for future funding years.  There is no alternate list.

Selection is based on each project proposal’s alignment with the priorities of the CLG program, which are 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; deliver a community asset tailored to the community’s expressed priorities and opportunities; and advance goals of area-specific action plans.

Is a grant recipient required to have a lease prior to applying for or being awarded a grant?2020-04-23T15:45:17-07:00

No.  The applicant may apply and be awarded a grant without having a lease agreement.  Funds are set aside once the grant recipients are selected and confirmed. However, before a grant agreement is executed, recipient must submit a lease agreement with a minimum 3-year term.

Can I apply for a CLG to operate my non-profit?2020-04-23T15:45:53-07:00

No. CLG funds may not be used for lease or rent or any other operating expenses. Grants only fund permanent real property improvements that add, expand, or improve physical space. These TIF resources are restricted under state law (ORS 457.170) from generally being spent on anything other than land, property acquisition and real property rehabilitation related to urban redevelopment.

Are there specific projects that are ineligible for a grant?2020-04-23T15:47:59-07:00

Housing, transportation and traffic safety projects are not eligible for funding through the CLG program.

How are grant funds awarded?2020-04-23T15:46:34-07:00

Once the evaluation committee makes award recommendations and the Executive Director determines allocations, Prosper Portland sets funds aside while recipient provides additional documentation, such as business license, project budget, lease agreements, contractor bids and confirmation that property taxes are current.  While Prosper Portland does announce grant award recipients publicly, the disbursement of funds is contingent on the execution of final grant agreements and compliance with grant requirements.

What if a grant recipient is unable to meet grant requirements?2020-04-23T15:47:16-07:00

The funds are forfeited and placed back in the District’s budget for future funding years.

How is the grant administered?2020-04-23T15:48:37-07:00

Selected recipients receive an award letter listing items required in order to fund a grant, including state 501(c) status, City of Portland business license, current status of property taxes, project plans, construction bids and permits.  Grant Agreements are based on construction bids submitted by the grant recipient and approved by Prosper Portland.  Funds may only be used for permanent real property improvements that add, expand or improve physical space.  Work performed prior to a fully executed grant agreement is not eligible. To access funds, recipient must provide an invoice from the contractor, proof of payment and a signed Disbursement Form.  Funds are disbursed either as a reimbursement to the recipient (with proof of payment) or directly to the contractor.

Is there a timeline that Prosper Portland must follow to open/ close the grant application process and award grants?2020-04-23T15:49:15-07:00

The CLG program is opened annually with an announcement of available funds in each district.  The announcement specifies the program focus, selection criteria, evaluation process and timeline for implementation.  Program announcement and timeline is at the discretion of Prosper Portland staff.

Do applicants receive the full amount they request?2020-04-23T15:36:22-07:00

Grants are awarded through a competitive process.  Projects may be funded in full, in part or not at all; can vary in size; and typically range from $10,000 to $50,000.  The total maximum grant award is $300,000.  Organizations previously awarded a total of $300,000 (singular or combination) have reached the maximum total grant.

Making a Difference in Neighborhoods Across the City

Portland YouthBuilders

Portland YouthBuilders

In 2016, Portland YouthBuilders (PYB), with Prosper Portland support, began a process to renovate the PYB campus to meet the needs of its students and create more room for its growing program. Three years later, with incredible support from the community and adaptability from its staff and students, PYB completed a three-component $1.1 million renovation project.

PYB’s main school building improvements include increasing classroom and counseling spaces, creating a student kitchen, and upgrading the building exterior for greater energy efficiency and longevity. The garage of PYB’s Annex house also received a remodel to create much-needed meeting and office space. The Technology Training Program relocated from inner southeast Portland to a leased space within one mile of PYB’s main campus in the Lents neighborhood. This leased space received a complete remodel with help from PYB construction students to create classrooms, offices, a makerspace, and a lounge area. In addition to significant lease savings, the move made it much easier for staff and students to travel between the main campus and the Technology Center.

In addition to Prosper Portland’s early support, PYB received generous assistance from many individuals, corporate supporters led by Walsh Construction and Scott|Edwards Architecture, foundation donors, and faith-based lenders.

Tom Del Savio of PYB said, “Thank you to everyone who made this project possible, creating a space where young people can grow and thrive.”

About Portland YouthBuilders

The mission of Portland YouthBuilders (PYB) is to support young people who are committed to changing their lives to become self-sufficient, contributing members of the workforce and their community.

Founded in 1995, PYB is a non-profit organization that provides education, vocational training in construction and technology, leadership development, and long-term support to low-income youth. Each year, the program serves 200 students and alumni between the ages of 17 and 24 who have not completed high school and face serious barriers to success, including homelessness, interpersonal violence, addiction, hunger, and loss.

Portland Mercado

mercadoPortland’s first and only Latino public market opened officially on Saturday, April 11, 2015 with La Gran Apertura – a grand opening party that drew founders and supporters of the years-long project to celebrate its completion.

Five years in the making, the Portland Mercado, developed by Hacienda CDC on Prosper Portland-owned property at 7238 SE Foster Road, hosts more than 15 Latino-owned businesses and food trucks offering everything from fresh produce and flowers to Cuban-Argentine fusion food. Prosper Portland helped throughout the planning process with grant funding and developing the co ncept and the business plan.

A $201,959 Community Livability Grant during FY 2013-14 funded the construction of a 500-square-foot commissary Kitchen and cold and frozen storage units, a $432,000 project within the Mercado site and an essential part of the larger development. The kitchen serves as incubation space for Latino entrepreneurs and can be used for nutrition and enrichment classes as well.

The Portland Mercado received the City of Portland’s 2014 Spirit of Portland award, has increased job capacity at Hacienda CDC and for small businesses in the region, and created 76 new jobs in the first quarter of operations.

Prosper Portland’s total investment in the project was more than $1 million, and the agency has extended a long-term lease of the property to Hacienda for $1 per year.  We’ve been proud to contribute to a project that creates such a strong sense of community and place for Latinos and honors diverse cultures in our city.

Sons of Haiti Lodge

Over several years, Prosper Portland has played a key role in assisting the Sons of Haiti Lodge on N Mississippi and Fremont in NE Portland, most recently through the Community Livability Grant program.

With help from Prosper Portland, local businesses and neighbors, the Lodge broke ground in late January 2016 on improvements for a proposed food cart site to generate revenue to assist with building improvements. The project’s aim was to stabilize one of the last black-owned businesses on Mississippi Avenue, a historically African American faction of the Freemason fraternity. The community celebrated the opening of the food carts in June 2016. Construction is now underway at the property, which will ultimately create space for the meeting lodge, kids’ karate classes and other services.

Old Town Soundscape Installation

The Community Livability Grant can be used to honor and enhance a neighborhood’s cultural diversity and history, as demonstrated by an innovative project in Old Town/Chinatown.

A $40,000 grant awarded in 2015 to Innovative Housing, Inc. supported the creation of multi-ethnic soundscape installations to bring Old Town history to life. On Thursday, September 15, 2016, neighbors and residents celebrated the first installation on NW 2nd Avenue between Burnside and Couch, in front of the Erickson Fritz Apartments.

“The Erickson Saloon, 1890-1920” evokes August Erickson’s Workingman’s Saloon, between 1890 and 1916 and is the first in a groundbreaking series of public sound art installations telling the story of past lives in Portland’s Old Town, to be installed on the facades of buildings within the Skidmore/Old Town Historic District. The soundscapes are designed by historian Jacqueline Peterson-Loomis and sound recordist Larry Johnson and produced in collaboration with Charles Morrow of Charles Morrow Sound, Inc. Oregon Cultural Trust also provided funding.

Future soundscapes will tell the story of the Greek community in Old Town circa 1925-1960, the Jewish immigrant experience from 1925-1960, and the Japanese American experience from 1915-1941. Each soundscape will be installed on a historic building within a three-block radius to provide visitors a self-guided tour through Old Town’s past.

FY 19-20 Awards

Prosper Portland awarded $1.25 million in Community Livability Grants for fiscal year 2019-20 to 24 projects in five urban renewal areas or neighborhoods, leveraging $6.6 million in private investment. Eleven projects in Interstate, five projects in Old Town/Chinatown, three in Lents, three in Gateway, and two in Central Eastside will receive funding:

ProjectDescriptionTIF DistrictFiscal YearAward 
Central Eastside Industrial CouncilViaduct Arts Belmont Building MuralCentral Eastside2019-2020$25,000
Imago TheaterADA accessibility and expanded spaceCentral Eastside2019-2020$100,000
Portland Adventist
Community Services (PACS)
Install fence surrounding thrift store and food pantry parking lot to improve safetyGateway Regional Center2019-2020$50,000
Guardian PartnersOffice building ADA updatesGateway Regional Center2019-2020$8,500
Human SolutionsComplete the service center/ office in a community-based social services centerGateway Regional Center2019-2020$141,500
Abundant LifeRenovate state-of-the-art audio, technology engineering, and computer skills as a Community Technology LabInterstate Corridor2019-2020$40,000
Blazers Boys & Girls ClubHVAC systemInterstate Corridor2019-2020$37,500
Health (Garlington Center)
Renovate 2,400 sq foot vacant outdoor area to develop a community garden and children’s play area. Interstate Corridor2019-2020$29,000
Sunshine Center
Preschool expansion/Community Help
Institute for
Learning &
Interstate Corridor2019-2020$25,000
Friends of the ChildrenGym renovation to ensure safety and improve insulation and energy efficiency.Interstate Corridor2019-2020$23,435
Life Change ChurchPedestrian safety + mural improvementInterstate Corridor2019-2020$75,000
MESOImprovement to four existing structures and the groundsInterstate Corridor2019-2020$15,000
New Hope MBCFacility upgrade to better support the arts and community engagement.Interstate Corridor2019-2020$40,000
POIC & RAHAInstallation of security cameras and automated identification security systemInterstate Corridor2019-2020$20.000
Q CenterInterior/exterior improvements and wheelchair accessible front doorInterstate Corridor2019-2020$20.000
Center (Miracle
Upgrades to electrical, plumbing, ADA accessibility and fire/life and safetyInterstate Corridor2019-2020$25,000
East Portland
Tenant improvementsLents Town Center2019-2020$43,560
Hacienda CDCPortland Mercado: Expansion/repave parking lot, build permanent canopy for outdoor seating, replace ADA accessible door at the entranceLents Town Center2019-2020$56,259
Portland Chinese CMAC Improvements to enlarge and improve capacity of language school, youth activity spaces, job skills training and childcare center.Lents Town Center2019-2020$80,000
Oregon Chinese
Repair and refurbish ornamental roof parapet Old Town/Chinatown2019-2020$97,000
p:ear Coffee Works Exterior improvements include awning, a roll-top service door, energy efficient windows, lighting upgrades, replace oxide paneling. Old Town/Chinatown2019-2020$55,000
Portland Saturday MarketSkidmore MAX station sign restorationOld Town/Chinatown2019-2020$19,228
Kickstand ComedyRenovate theater space to transform into thriving inclusive hub for performance and educationOld Town/Chinatown2019-2020$150,000
Stone SoupInterior improvements for workforce development training facility Old Town/Chinatown2019-2020$73,722
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