NHA Receives HUD Funding for a Green Renovation of 333 Oak

March 28, 2024

Today, HUD announced the award of $7.2M in Green and Resilient Retrofit Program (GRRP) funding to Northwest Housing Alternatives (NHA) to support an energy-efficiency and resiliency focused renovation of its 333 Oak (“the Oak”) property in downtown Portland. The Oak is one of 25 properties in the U.S. to be selected as part of the Green and Resilient Retrofit Program, a program by HUD. NHA received this award at a ceremony held today at The Oak.

From left to right: NHA Board President Steven Phan, HUD’s Oregon Field Office Director Bryan Guiney, Senator Ron Wyden, NHA Executive Director Trell Anderson, Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici, and Mitzi Guzmán-Islas, representing Senator Jeff Merkley.

“Creating more climate-resilient housing communities has been a top priority for Northwest Housing Alternatives for several years,” said Trell Anderson, Northwest Housing Alternatives Executive Director. “We serve populations that are often the most vulnerable to climate change impacts like extreme weather. As these events become more frequent and intense in the Pacific Northwest, the need for comprehensive, forward-thinking strategies to ensure the sustainability and resilience of affordable housing has never been more critical. This is why we are very grateful to HUD and our Congressional delegation for continuing to advocate for creative climate resilience solutions. We will also continue advocating for more funding to complete these important upgrades at Oak Apartments and other buildings.”

From left to right: NHA’s Senior Housing Developer Lydia Slocum, NHA’s Asset Manager Ivy Cleveland, Senator Ron Wyden, NHA’s Executive Director Trell Anderson, Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici

Project and resident information

The Oak is a 90-unit affordable housing property in downtown Portland serving very low-income seniors and people with disabilities. Building amenities include a community room, shared laundry, and multiple commercial and social services within walking distance of the downtown property. One hundred percent of apartments at the property receive rent assistance through a HUD housing assistance payments contract. The average household income across all residents is just under $10,000, or about 13% of Area Median Income. Rental subsidies deliver an average savings of nearly $1,200 per month compared to market rents; this equates to over $112,000 in total monthly rental savings for all residents at the Oak, compared to market rents. As a result of the stability and affordability that this housing provides, residents have seen an average income growth of 47% during their tenure at the Oak.

As of the end of 2022:

  • 29% of households at Oak are households of color, with Black households comprising the largest share of non-white residents (17%).
  • Nearly all households (91%) include at least one person with a disability, further underscoring the importance of the Oak as a housing resource for households with disabilities.

 

Scope of green renovation

Preserving affordability and improving the physical condition of this critical affordable housing asset is a top priority for NHA. The Oak was constructed in 1909 and has since been used for multiple commercial and residential uses. Since acquiring the property in the late 1990s, NHA has maintained operational repairs to the over 100-year-old building but has never had the necessary resources to complete substantial rehabilitations. GRRP is one funding source that will allow NHA to address much-needed energy efficiency and quality of life upgrades at the property. NHA intends to partner with Walsh Construction to undertake a full building renovation that will reduce energy consumption by at least 25% and reduce emissions by significantly more. Residents at the Oak will benefit from this renovation through lower monthly utility bills and improved indoor air quality and overall quality of life in their homes.

Example of proposed upgrades expected in the renovation include:

  • New high-efficiency heating/cooling system to replace the existing central boilers, in-unit baseboards, and window unit air conditioners
  • New indoor air ventilation system
  • New high-efficiency windows and building envelope insulation
  • Replace leaking plumbing fixtures throughout the building
  • Replace unit and community room appliances with high-efficiency models
  • Install a new roof and solar array to offset some common area electricity usage

 

Resident engagement

A Resident Services Coordinator (RSC) works at each NHA multifamily property to link residents with community resources and organize community events. RSCs coordinate community-building activities and outcomes-driven programs which ensure that residents will increase their ability to maintain their housing, remain connected to employment and education opportunities, and participate in asset building opportunities. The Oak RSC works closely with Cascade Management to maintain a positive building environment through established trust and regular communication with residents. In addition, NHA will host multiple on-site meetings to keep residents engaged with and informed about renovation plans and progress.

About Northwest Housing Alternatives and our commitment to sustainability

NHA is the nonprofit sole member of the Oak Associates Limited Partnership, which wholly owns the Oak. NHA’s mission is to create opportunity through housing. NHA provides affordable housing options for families, seniors, and people with disabilities across Oregon with over 2,300 homes for 3,200 people across 17 Oregon counties. Visit nwhousing.org for more information.

NHA recognizes the link between healthy people and a healthy planet, and the historical impacts of environmental degradation, pollution, and climate change disproportionally affecting people and communities of color. We approach our work with an environmental sustainability lens that furthers our long-standing commitment to green building, the use of renewable energy, and protecting natural resources.

NHA’s new housing units are all built to Earth Advantage standards. In 2022, NHA was recognized by Earth Advantage for certifying the most multi-family homes in Oregon. NHA is also in the process of renewing its Gold certification as a Clackamas County Leader in Sustainability, which recognizes the prioritization of sustainability practices and programs within the organization. In addition, NHA has launched a Climate Resiliency initiative through its Resident Services program to address the concerns and impacts of climate change on the people living in NHA housing.

Links

HUD Announces $7.2 Million to Improve Energy Efficiency and Climate Resilience at 333 Oak Apartments in Portland (HUD Press Release)

333 Oak Apartments set to get upgrades in Portland, Portland Business Journal, March 28 2024

NHA Press Release and Info (PDF)