2017 Equity Report

The Road to Equity

Northwest Housing Alternatives

What We Achieved Together in 2017

‘Equity means all people have an equal opportunity to  meet their essential needs, advance their well being, achieve their goals,  and shape their present and future.’


Goals for 2017 included increasing the diversity and equity-awareness of our staff and board through development of foundational knowledge about privilege and bias and clear communication of equity goals to our community partners.  

Goal 1: Implement 18 month NHA-wide Intercultural Development Inventory program so organization moves from ‘minimization’ to ‘acceptance’ test categories

Outcome 1: 12 one-hour sessions and one  two-hour training offered.

Goal 2: Redesign and implement new diversity survey in 2018

Outcome 2:  ‘Equity Climate’ survey in development by staff for implementation in March 2018

Goal 3: 100% of staff attend 8 hours of equity training in 2017

Outcome 3:  100% of management & 76% of staff attended 8 hours of equity training. Total equity training hours: 769.5

DOWN THE ROAD 2018: Recruitment and Retention of NHA Staff

Develop systems for increasing recruitment/retention of diverse candidates to NHA staff and research hiring/screening bias best practices related to creating and sustaining a multi-cultural organization, including: 

Creating a quality control checklist for a more racially equitable hiring process 

Developing recruitment processes to increase racial diversity of applicant pool at all levels of hiring

Providing a skill-based equivalencies list for job descriptions

Adapting application & interview processes to maximize diversity of applicants


Resident Services provides direct support to 31 residential properties across Oregon in 10 counties.

Goal 1: Evaluate service requests for participation by different cultural groups

Outcome 1: Most recent complete data is from 2016. Communities of color make up 24% of our households but account for 31% of our 2016 service requests, mirroring 2015 data. 

Goal 2: Evaluate Census and Resident Survey to determine resident satisfaction and compare success  of different cultural groups.

Outcome 2: 19% of respondents to the 2017  RS Resident Survey were from communities of color. When compared with the 81% of respondents who were white, there was no statistically significant difference in overall satisfaction with the RS program

Goal 3: Implement Anti-Bullying plan across properties

Outcome 3: Rolled out at 33 properties: 60% of residents report that their connection to the community is stronger because of RS, but only 35% of respondents report that they are better able to get along with others

Next Steps: Identify community partners for on-site programming that may help increase the percentage of respondents who feel that RS has helped them with getting along with others.

DOWN THE ROAD 2018 Planning Tools and Translation

Design resident services planning tool for new properties that includes cultural diversity planning; Pomeroy move-in was pushed back from October to end of December, so our planning tool will be implemented January 2018 and data synthesized in first half of 2018.The 2018 survey goal is to get an appropriate cultural representation based on who is actually using services and to show no disparities in satisfaction.

Add RS newsletters to translation requests to IRCO (4 languages: Japanese, Farsi, Russian, Spanish). Translation of newsletter into Japanese and Farsi will begin January 2018.


Finance & Administration provides continuous services to all of NHA’s systems and departments. 2017 goals focused on the area of vendor procurement to increase our support of minority-owned, women-owned, and emerging small businesses (MWESB) in every area of operations. 

Goal 1: Create and implement Procurement Policy that integrates commitment to MWESB vendors 

Outcome 1: Plan in place Jan. 1, 2018

Next Steps: Implement NHA MWESB Certification program to increase use of MWESB vendors across Oregon and provide education about available resources for those vendors

Goal 2: Expand use of MWESB firms across NHA operations. 2018 goal for MWESB food vendors is 35% for staff and board events, 50% for local small meetings

Outcome 2: Analysis of 2010-2017 food and supplies vendor relationships complete

DOWN THE ROAD 2018: Increase Human Resources Focus on Equity in Hiring 

Implement new digital HR database in March 2018 in order to diversify new staff recruitment, develop more culturally-aware onboarding and hiring processes, and retain staff from a variety of backgrounds. This project will provide better tracking of NHA employee experience in all areas related to Human Resources to provide a baseline for improvement. 


In 2017, our Housing Development team took an ambitious approach to partnering with vendors across Oregon who have an equity focus, resulting in our current projects exceeding their goals in many areas. We currently have 801 units in pre-development, and 20 units were added to the portfolio in 2017.  

Goal 1: Continue to monitor MWESB and Section 3 utilization on current construction projects  while expanding our outreach on the soft cost (pre-development) side by updating our internal procurement list

Outcome 1: Our construction at Pomeroy Place will take us over 60% MWESB participation. The general contractor (O’Neill Construction, Inc.) is a veteran, woman, minority-owned contractor and the architecture firm (STACK) is 50% veteran-owned.

Goal 2: Set a baseline goal of 20% participation for every project with at least half coming from minority and women firms 

Outcome 2: Our RFQ/P process was implemented in 2017 and delivered impact: On soft costs, a 5 year RFQ received 17 architect firms, 10 of which qualified as MWESB. On hard costs, 7 GC’s applications were received, 2 of which qualified as MWESB

Goal 3: Work hour goals for each project focus on increasing hours for minorities and women across years

Outcome 3: Hawthorne East workforce reporting: Section 3 hires: 4,115 hours of work (16% of total project hours). Hours worked onsite: 35% (minorities) & 26% (apprentice hours). 

DOWN THE ROAD 2018: Rural Development Capacity-building

Create ‘mix and match’ of Architects and General Contractors in rural locations to develop depth and breadth of vendor availability in those areas to support and stabilize MWESB firms with experienced and familiar firms. Locations include Florence, Hermiston, and Ontario.


Asset Management oversees NHA properties with focus on a triple stability bottom line – financial, tenant, and physical. This focus supports equity by providing property management that attends specifically to the needs of under-served communities in Oregon, including seniors, communities of color, veterans, and people living with mental illness and developmental disabilities.

Goal 1: Increase equity based MWESB participation (Outcome: see graph). Baseline goal: 10% in contracted services and supplies at our properties

Goal 2: Expand use of  Minority and Women-owned firms by increasing goal to 53% MWESB vendor utilization in the DD Portfolio

Outcome 2: 

MWESB Vendors $174,954, 39.35% (2016: $376,002, 51.58%)

Total DD and LR Expenditures $444,564 (2016 $728,974) 

Next Steps: Implement annual training of property management onsite staff and evaluate  increased sensitivity, cultural  humility, and property management staff diversity over 3 year period. 

DOWN THE ROAD 2018: AFHMP Equity Initiative Rollout

Include culturally-specific service provider contacts & focused conventional marketing to diverse communities and evaluate outreach efforts, communication, referrals, applicants, waitlist conversions, denials, appeals, and reasonable accommodation requests through an equity lens.


The Resource Development supports the organization through communication and fundraising. Goals focused on integrating equity into all areas of communication.

Goal 1: Create equitable social media plan to ensure access for and representation of NHA’s client populations

Outcome 1: Plan in implementation phase

Next Steps: Share equitable stories & posts in our communications. This will be ongoing and integrated into our communications calendar

Goal 2: Tell stories of NHA  equity goals and accomplishments in all relevant grants, communications, foundation asks, and website

Outcome 2: Stories are being gathered directly from residents and staff for use in public communications


HIS served 549 people through our Homebase, Pathways, Annie Ross House, and Transitional services in 2017. 

Goal 1: Measure and increase landlord engagement for people with disabilities

Outcome 1: 3 appeals were made and 3 reasonable accommodations were approved. People with disabilities were not initially able to meet rental criteria, but with case management intervention, HIS staff were able to get them housing

Next Steps: Track number of reasonable accommodations NHA requested versus how many were approved in order to overcome client barriers to housing due to criminal records and other factors

DOWN THE ROAD 2018 Increasing Impact in Critical Communities

HIS staff will conduct 6 hours of Latino community-specific outreach per month beginning April 2018. The team will analyze mental health hospitalizations pre- and post-housing for the Pathways program to determine the impact of successful housing on the lives of HIS clients.