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Reach 070118

Jun 29, 2018|

AN INTERVIEW WITH DAN VALLIERE, CEO OF REACH COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT, ABOUT THE WORK THEY DO IN AFFORDABLE HOUSING.

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

Yeah this is microscope. And Entercom radio Portland public affairs program and your blogs and today we're going to be taking on affordable housing in the Portland metro area. On McChrystal this time I would like to welcome Dan valley air Danny is the CEO of reach community development pitted and hi thanks for having me so let's get started by you and what is reached globalstar of the basics what is re. Each guy reaches a nonprofit organization and it was founded in 1982 and when it was started it was a group of neighbors in. In your southeast Portland right trot in just right near the river Bachmann neighborhood into the surrounding neighborhoods. And people were concerned at that time about. Dilapidated housing and a lack of economic opportunity an area. And high school or disclosed Washington high school has disclosed in 1981 and people were worried about the neighborhood and its future so the group came together founded reach. I am and at that time it had as an acronym and it's stood for recreation and education. And access to commerce and housing to show on different things that. We're needed in the neighborhood. I'm an ever since reach has. Not only helped improve that neighborhood but also now grown to be. Regional across the whole metro region. But we've really grown to focus on housing so we no longer have the Akron and I were but we still are called reach and today were really focused on providing and building housing that's affordable to people earning below average incomes and we do that many different ways around the region. In no longer just in central southeast are racing you're gonna all over the place gap mean we still the majority of our work is still in Portland in the city but. We now working man Cooper Washington across the river to. I'm we also aren't Hillsborough so we're not in every count but we're spread across the region now. So the Big Ten thousand dollar question is why do we have such an affordable housing problem in Portland yeah. And of course to Harden and answer but there're couple things that I see that I think are. I'm the biggest. Issues with that. Mean one is. There was a period of time in around 2008 to 2010 when the economy was really suffering and a lot of people armament oh recession but the pastor forget going to be out and and that's shows Giuliani's reign ends out. I during that period and there was. Pretty much just a halt to new construction of housing for several years and and but people kept coming to Portland during that time so it wasn't like. People stopped living here so we actually had a period that. Created this shortage because you weren't producing housing now we started producing housing again there's been people see the trains in the building but. And but it what it hasn't gone fast enough to catch up yet and we're you know that's one of the problems that's interesting because it seems like every corner there's. New construction going up that's right and of course they're not open yet so when they open I would imagine things will change a little bit. But there is there seems to be a lot of construction going total Lance I think some people say good you are catching up and we probably are that that's good does that construction of needed. Another problem though is that. Even without that that one would. Recession problem. There's just a problem across the country with how we. Provide housing and how we develop real estate and so on to most of the new housing being built is at middle income are upper income in terms of the Rand level. And there's a lot less being built at affordable levels and that's for many reasons around. How regular the regulations around zoning around on what returns investors get to need in this gets into real estate development. But there are some solutions a NASA reaches about is how we create more affordable housing because that's the part that's not getting built as much as the the middle and upper level. What is considered affordable housing guys great Christian. It is. Essentially when we say that word it we're talking about housing that is affordable to. Families and households earning a certain income. I'm technically at 60%. Of the median income and actually works out to about 40000 dollars a year and under some most people who live there reach building are gonna come in the door. Earning between an around 40000 dollars per year or last and sometimes much us. That's 40000 for a family before household ripe for a family it can be a family of four can be a family of six can be it a family of two and that that. Dollar round might vary a little bit and it has the family yet generally content. Is this problem unique to Portland who can mention this yet not off the EL EC in pima Jenny growing city this is the big big issue now. I'm on the West Coast it's probably as bad as anywhere is because. The West Coast drawing so that's a good thing but this is that the challenge of growing and seeing how we. I'm create space for new people to come here as well as people who have been living here on time who sometimes are getting passed out. Where are the best place is to have affordable housing. Anywhere Yasir that's part of our reach has grown to be across the region you know because we've realized cash everywhere. The best solution is to develop a little bit of affordable housing everywhere because and you know people can live near their jobs people come live near different schools. So you don't want and are concentrated in one area so it's all over. Is it is the but the house are the houses are they mostly apartments are where gas he has to Yasser ever reach we are specializing. In rental. Apartments in you know multi apartment buildings. I'm but we just some peers some other organizations that. They do other kinds of affordable housing there's a land trust. Called up proud ground for example that builds. I'm homes and cabinet humanity also they build homes and those are affordable but those are for people and a single family home. Where town homes so there's actually many different types. Under reaches a specialist at. Apartments in larger buildings perfect in the you've had these throughout the city infect radio the radio station right across street. He does have a exactly offices there and you have affordable housing secretary there's one in south that's in south waterfront here as one of our buildings where offices are. A non non. We guess there's some buildings downtown. There's some buildings and it's in southeast or some in northeast some I guess aiming cougar. In Hillsborough so any other spread around and Lotta times you we don't put our name Indy Lights on the billing 'cause that's not the point. In the building might have its own name. So a lot of times people are our buildings and realize it's affordable housing or that its reach and now I tell them later their own a surprise they say no I don't have done a good shots so we like clo surprise people that it's actually woven. Right in your neighbor hadn't he might walk by and tomorrow on our Eliza yeah. Tell me about the demographic of people that that that live and affordable housing gaffe. I am acting and it's pretty diverse we've got all ages so there's seniors who are retired various. Young families with children. Or even single people or couples that. Deal may be working at a lower income lower wage job so. Many different different I am age troops. Culturally too very diverse you know depending on parts of CDC. Many different. Cultures and and races and buildings and that goes for any affordable housing mean a whole lot of ideas it's to be open to everybody. Says sometimes you might see a building though that is specialized like we have one. That is focused on seniors and so that's sometimes there is an age requirement for certain buildings are at 62 and up. And that is great because it creates a community of people who are of the same age. And it's I'm not in you know it's not an assisted living that is sort of like a retirement community and people can have activities and community together so some buildings are. I am open to just about anybody and some might have an age requirement to our things like that. Are a lot of the people that live in reach housing they. New to them period where they've people who lived here for a long timers kind of accommodation of the evidently combination but I would say most are people who lived in an area long time you know because. You know there's the need has grown. And the prices of housing drop lots of people who live Joan time really need that access to affordable housing. But there's also people who move here so it is both but I certainly. A large percentage people who have been in Portland long time so how quickly are you. Building. Gary now at reach we are I'm going as fast as we cameras not fast enough. And we have two new buildings under construction so for us that's a lot. One is in southeast Portland hints to me about a hundred apartments and one is in Hillsborough and it's going to be about fifty apartment itself. That's. That's this year and then next year we have a couple more buildings that were trying to get put together to get the funding put together so press that's a lot. And then fortunately there are many other organizations like us doing the same thanks though. And we were one of the larger ones but we're not the only one and that's gets of their many others answer right now. There's a real push to build more housing. That is affordable type and not just like saint upper incomes and I were making progress on that and there are some new things happening. Am in the city that might make that go faster Q so let's talk about that yeah. So one thing happened last year is. Voters send anyone who voted in the election last year might remember that there is an election to create a housing bonds for the city of Portland so. It's a new funding source that voters had to have proof that is now being used by the city to build more housing and there are some new things happening renown because of that. On and then there's a proposal on the ballot for this coming November. For a new find them be metro wide so when disputed city Portland that'd be a whole metro region where at least three counties it would be multnomah company. Washington canny and clack of this company. What is that going to mean for for voters say at some voters of the are being asked to support on this effort. It's if approved it would create a fund that is 650. Million dollars is quite large and that would help produce a lot of housing if not. Here's a constitutional amendment is being proposed on the ballot too if that passes as well as despondent measure it would create. It's. It would actually create housing for 121000 people. And that's about 4000 Newton almost 4000 new homes. Armed around the whole region. And down. It's a big number and good news is that it would be paid those positive paid off over a long period of time so the actual price tag for a average homeowner is about sixty dollars per year in terms of the property taxes they would pay. That seems reasonable. Gasses not a big number it is needs a new commitment for taxpayers but we think that. It is worth it given that it will create housing in the next few years to house. I can say almost 121000 people. So there there is hope there is definitely hope we have solutions that work we just need to create the resources to do it. And I also the federal government plays a big role and there are some things being done there that could be very helpful there was. You know the tax reform was passed last year. And the tax reform included on some additional resources for affordable housing actually that was a good thing. Here so many times I believe there is hope because you are so many times I've seen people inducing I don't know what to do what do you what should we deal I don't know what I don't know what to do. I know is that citizen of Portland I don't know what to do but in thankfully they're experts like you out there so. What can we do yeah and it's a great question because I get asked that a lot and I had to think about it because it can be overwhelming and this work. Can be so complicated that people can get pretty frustrated. But I think. In this case this year one simple thing people can do is. Look at this ballot measure of just talked about and consider voting for yes on it as well as this constitutional amendment because with it. I'm and if folksy down and think that it sounds like a good solution they can also get involved in the campaign they could even go help spread the news. And tell friends family grieve and volunteer for the campaign so that's a really easy thing that prevents anyone can do if there are so inclined because it doesn't take a lot of we're beyond this learning the basics and then going out and can helping tell people about it. On another thing is are many ways to volunteer to help. I'm organizations increase is due housing so and we have volunteer opportunities and so many others on. I mentioned to a prime ground and habitat for humanity and there are many more organizations like that. Armed did you confined. You know street roots is a local newspaper that people who are homeless cell. I would encourage everyone to buy an issue street roots and then when you buy that issue is future actually helping somebody who you know is looking for permanent housing. And activate it keep the proceeds. And street greets if you go to their web site action a list of many different housing organizations there and again people can find ways to volunteers so there's lots of good work going on. On the keys is finer group did that feels right and get involved in a besides housing reached as a lot of other things to help people out tolls about some of those yeah thanks for asking Alan Kazaa. And that's sort it's times hard to see but what we have to do is it's really treating a sense of community and in. In the buildings 'cause it's not just. A place to live it's a place to don't community. So we have programs that do that. One example is our. A financial literacy and work we have a program called budget by and say if people come together to take classes together to. Talk about how they're doing their budgeting and learn some opportunities in terms of how can you save money. And maybe even set a goal when you wanna save money for and how can you do that. I'm we actually have that is statewide program that helps people. Safer goal like how sore. Starting a business or maybe even a car something needs for their work. And then if they saved to that goal. A certain amount of money for get matched 31. And there's specials are matching program for people who were able to achieve their goal says that's an example we do the course and we help people get into net savings program so they can. You know triple your money if they can save certain amount for oracle. To lick and the oldest lead I know all right I I I wish I had now and now he's younger. Say yes and there's some really interesting opportunities to put steel learn about him also someone's having. Come you know. Trouble with not many awesome job and trying to get a new job or something so we have some programs to help people connect employment. Tell people are not training programs. On and get people enrolled in some of those I'm around the city so it's a lot of work tech connect people think it's. We're talking today with Dan valley air CEOs who reach community development that didn't help of people find you how to how do you. How do you help people whenever they find yeah. So. What he's doing is taking go to Lou the reach web site reach CDC dot org and there is actually a list of all of our. Our communities on their people who look up. I'm Byron by neighborhood or by region of the area. And see where we have communities that and has all information about how to apply and how to contact them. Learn about winning somewhere so that's for people who are looking for housing. I'm has all of vacancies listed. Armed and also there is. There is a I guess that street roots has. The web site industry roots organization has a list of many different housing organizations that's another way to. Learn about other groups like that's. I'm. And there are some interesting things going on in the technology world that haven't. Yet. Reached that then they're full. Mature growth but there's a new web site called one after. Oregon won at fever one app or game and they are creating a website that would. Contain all the housing openings in the city that are affordable. If you look at a pirate a line for those are now you go to reach website and apply for Reese housing. But does anyone that would be not just region beam reach an all the other ones in one place we should be really great. I'm sorry I have to sort of go the organization by organization itself there's some were primarily to try to make it easier what is the application process like through reached. Yes says it's does take some work like it doesn't mean you know playing for any rental housing but there is say I'm. An application form people cement on some basic information about. I'm their housing history where they lived they also submits an income information because we do have to make sure people qualify based on income like I mentioned earlier. Sound bites. You know staff spent reached a lead people through that process and they tell me exactly what they need to submit. It's meant that information and then if they're eligible and then they can get in the housing sentence it's that simple so they got a website did seem vacancy it would column group who contact and they're also be some information about. Application forms and what they need to submit. And easily reach has its own communities kind of all over the metro area is there a particular area in our metro area that the need is is greater than niners. I'm yet I would say now there's there's there's the need really has. Has spread across a whole a whole region. Sometimes it's your different EC different types of housing is what's needed so. They can downtown Portland it might be a highrise building it's really needed. And you might want to also have a housing that's available for seniors and disabled in areas it's near transit transportation and easy access to services so we try to locate housing may sound. Who might be living there. But I mean you can go way out and Far East for land around and Washington County any housing merit to it housing a look different you know I might not be IRS. But you need that the need for housing is just as significant out there because. I'm it's not getting bill. Ford does more formal level and you have jobs there and you have people living yourself in their knees everywhere or just maybe it. The style of what hasn't looks like might be different because he was it almost seems like that's in downtown core of the center of the city put up a larger problem but it's it's. Can equal opportunity everywhere he really as I think the central city is is that you can. You can go much more densely and so you can probably go much more housing and I'm one. On one site so that's a good thing and it's a course near transportation and it's near. Thinks you can go every which way. I'm but yeah does she need everywhere should say against I can say you might go a different style housing continues to fit in the community that it's dislocated. Tell me about seniors and and affordable housing because that population is. Growing because the baby boomers there are seniors now there's it's a large population the people about the solar tsunami hit and that it's a lot of people are. Are in need of housing who are retired or retiring soon. And I think all of us know we don't save enough for retirement and and that's been a big problem is is people not having as much in retirement as they thought. So then you know a problem how I can afford housing so yeah we're definitely seeing a big demand from people who are senior citizens. Who I am maybe aren't earning as much because they are ramping down their work or have retired answer. Or some cases are disabled and can't work so we are working hard to make sure we create enough. Space for them and it doesn't have to be. Senior building's only mean we're seeing that committed any building we open. It's some we're seeing people com or older adults who need to need fun place. Yeah it's the population is who is his big gap so. So there's a lot of work to do there and that's why one of the reasons why we need to create more funding to. I'm build housing that is gonna work for him that rapidly aging. Segment of our population were are going to be there Sunday salary you know getting instant this housing last for decades staff someday maybe he'll be our home Fredricka. Tell me Hillary it's and generates money how to use your nonprofits or how do you but he fondest. Gas so a couple different ways so first for building new housing. We actually raise money couple ways one is we. Seek public funding that helps subsidize the new developments so that's like I say this metro housing Bonner of the Portland housing bond can be one type a source of the city government county government. There's also of seen federal funding that is very important to making. It knew how housing happened. One element of that is the low income housing tax credit it's been around for about thirty years and it's a federal. Source of money that we're able to turn in housing so. Those public. Government sources are very important but that's not the whole picture we also borrow money sooner we build a new building we will borrow from banks or from other investors. Who are able to land at low rates and we try to get the low street we can because I keeps it more affordable for interest rates lower. And there are some special programs we can get into they have lower interest rates so we borrow money. We get the some government subsidy money and and we sometimes are able to raise private money. Particularly more more we're trying to find ways to do that we can. Grow a lot faster if we had some Philanthropic support not to pay for the whole building has to pay for help pay for a little piece of itself. We have a campaign blaring out of batteries. Philanthropic charitable contributions it would help build new housing semester building housing. And then for our day to day operations you know it's a reaction people paying rent because people don't just live every treasury based on the pay around the slower but they still pay rent and that grant helps. Keep the lights on pay for the upkeep of the building and all wrapped on an and we also some people. We'll have. Section eight or. I hired to support from the federal government and that also hope pain for me and maintenance of buildings could. There are a couple minutes left I wanted to look into your crystal ball and give us the five continue your forecast what do you what do you see an author yeah while I am seeing. A lot of advocacy you're going to see things like this election in November. And you're going to see more and more. I'm effort given to creating more housing that's affordable and it's already starting to bear fruit and I I really do feel like. People see the need they get it he just wanna know that it's being done efficiently. And we have a good number of organizations and local governments that know how to do this so I actually see. I'm a lot of growth I see new housing being built. On and that this problem will get better that we will make progress he will take ten years in my take a while but actually do think. The solutions are starting to take shape. I'm I also think that it's. There'll be any changes in the federal government. When they look like I don't know yet you know no income and losses in DC but I do think that there is more Amare. I am understanding that the federal government can do things differently and be more efficient with how they support local housing they don't. Run it it's definitely decision making is local. But the federal government can help make it go faster if they lose and some other regulation and and I am an investor funding in a way it's flexible and allows local governments to make decisions and I think that's already starting to happen and I. Think that over the next five to ten years that'll happen more and more. And so nicely though and housing situation in Portland and all along the West Coast so. Visible right now sixty hearing experts say that it's the the work is its. It's happening and then pay zone right in future if I can't be hopeful that it's really traveling today so I'm I'm hopeful because I see solutions on it will take. Public well and people including Aramis think they will have to really study this independent. And come to understand it and support the work 'cause in the day we ought to support it as a community so that that still has to happen but. I do see more support building on the election last year with the product hasn't bunch of that there's a lot of public support that's. Thanks Tim thanks for having me. We've been talking to David in Delhi air CEO ever reach community development. Microscope is an Entercom radio Portland public affairs program. I'm Gary blocks and if you're involved with a nonprofit or public affairs organization or if you have an idea for an upcoming show I'd like to hear from you. This is microscope PDX dot com and submit your ideas you can also go to the station's website and some richer information there. Thanks for listening to metros go and enjoy the rest of your weekend.