Hattie Redmond Apartments Welcomes Some of Portland’s Most Vulnerable Residents

U.S. Bancorp Impact Finance supports affordable housing designed to address homelessness and meet the needs of Black and disabled individuals
Aug 10, 2023 9:00 AM ET

Originally published on U.S. Bank company blog

The Hattie Redmond apartments, a 60-unit development that provides housing for low income, disabled people in Portland, Oregon, opened its doors on a recent rainy spring day and immediately said hello to more two dozen new residents. 

This development – aptly named after Harriet (Hattie) Redmond, an African-American suffragist and civil rights leader who lived and worked in Oregon in the late 1800s – is now humming along, thanks in large part to a $9.6 million Low-Income Housing Tax Credit investment and $8.3 million loan from U.S. Bancorp Impact Finance, a subsidiary of U.S. Bank.

“This project is located in Portland’s Albina District – a place that’s both historically significant and long recognized as an active hub for Portland’s Black and African-American community,” said Ann T. Melone, senior vice president and business development officer for Affordable Housing. “We’re honored to support this model initiative, which addresses Portland’s houselessness challenge in a comprehensive and sensitive way.”

It’s an innovative project backed by a big idea. Along with the financing from U.S. Bancorp Impact Finance, this $25+ million project was the brainchild of Portland's housing authority, Home Forward, and the Urban League of Portland. A 2018 Metro Housing Bond, provided via the Portland Housing Bureau, and funding from Oregon Housing and Community Services, also helped bring the building to life. 

Hattie Redmond units are all permanent supportive housing (PSH), available for people who are exiting homelessness. The PSH model is considered to be a best practice and a proven strategy that can help stabilize individuals experiencing chronic homelessness. Here, referrals come from Coordinated Access, a system created in 2018 in Multnomah County to streamline and provide equitable access to shelter and housing interventions on behalf of low-income and disabled individuals. One of the goals of the development is to reconnect Black individuals to the neighborhood and to each other; supportive services in the building are provided by Urban League staff. 

“Hattie Redmond Apartments is a model for how the City of Portland can make progress in housing people more quickly and with thoughtful community engagement,” said Ivory N. Mathews, CEO of Home Forward. “This building will provide safe shelter to 60 formerly homeless people in need of culturally specific supportive services. From the location to services offered to building amenities, Urban League of Portland thought of everything. This gives us hope that many more people who have been homeless can— and will—thrive with the right support.”

At four stories and 34,000 square feet, Hattie Redmond is on the Yellow MAX line. On the ground floor, residents share a community room/kitchen, conference room and laundry facilities. Individual studios have full kitchens and baths in addition to living space. Floors are hardwood, with cabinetry to match. The building also features original donated artwork from six Black and brown artists adding cheer throughout, including a portrait of Hattie Redmond.

“For decades, I've watched our members be priced out and pushed out of neighborhoods that were once stable and welcoming of Black Portlanders,” said Urban League of Portland President & CEO Nkenge Harmon Johnson. “We also know that more Black developers and property owners are a necessary part of the solution. For those reasons, the Urban League chose to be co-developers of the Hattie Redmond Building as well as provide wrap-around services for residents.”

Over the last three-plus decades, U.S. Bancorp Impact Finance has partnered on 95 affordable housing projects, investing more than $492 million in equity and more than $611 million in lending to create or rehab 9,000+ affordable housing units in the Portland area.  

Nationwide, U.S. Bancorp Impact Finance provides tax credit investments and syndications, lending and other financial solutions to help create affordable housing, spur economic activity in underserved communities, restore historic buildings, develop renewable sources of energy and strengthen Community Development Financial Institutions.