FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 12, 2022
Ariane Le Chevallier
Seniors at Rosemont Court to receive rental assistance and extensive moving resources to relocate after Legionnaires’ Disease outbreak
In an agreement with Joint Office of Homeless Services and funding from area foundations, residents have more options for relocation
April 12, 2022 (PORTLAND, ORE.) – Some 90 seniors living at Rosemont Court, a historic North Portland affordable housing property, will receive up to two years of rental assistance and up to $4,000 in relocation resources as part of an unprecedented effort to relocate all residents after a Legionnaires’ Disease outbreak caused several residents to fall ill in 2021. The relocation effort is based on recommendations provided to Northwest Housing Alternatives (NHA) by the Multnomah County Health Department. The source of the water-borne Legionella bacteria outbreak is still unconfirmed.
“This will be extremely hard on people and disruptive of the community at Rosemont Court,” said Trell Anderson, executive director of NHA, the affordable housing nonprofit organization that owns the property. “We’ve tried so hard to avoid it. And now we are incredibly grateful to the Portland community for coming together to make sure every resident at Rosemont Court is able to retain stable and affordable housing through this challenging transition. It was a very stressful year for residents. We are grateful to the Joint Office of Homeless Services and our philanthropic and nonprofit partners for making this possible.”
Rosemont Court is one of NHA’s most established and close-knit affordable housing communities. NHA began providing some relocation support last year but says these additional investments will accelerate relocation in a tight affordable housing market. NHA says that based on recommendations from health officials, it is still in the best interest of residents to take advantage of the extensive resources available and to relocate as soon as possible. NHA says it will continue working with health officials and other experts to ensure the building is safe for occupancy.
Under the agreement between the Joint Office and NHA, the Joint Office will provide up to two years of rental assistance funds to cover any rent differences between what residents pay at Rosemont Court and what increase in rent they may experience by relocating. One of two community-based organizations—the Urban League of Portland or Northwest Pilot Project—will pay any rent differentials on behalf of residents directly to landlords. The two organizations will also provide supportive services to relocated residents to ensure that connections to services such as health care remain in place during the relocation process.
“The Urban League of Portland’s seniors are our most cherished and respected community members,” said Urban League of Portland President and CEO Nkenge Harmon Johnson. “Our new partnership is testimony to our never-ending commitment to ensure seniors feel safe and connected with their existing friends and communities in North and Northeast Portland. We know that change can be difficult for anyone, especially when moving to a new home, and the partnership with NHA, NW Pilot Project and the Joint Office of Homeless Services provides a sensitive strategy to ensure the best outcome for each of the impacted individuals. We intend to serve holistically and center program participants with one-on-one support and navigation with housing, health, and senior services.”
Funding for moving assistance is being provided by a group of area foundations and philanthropists, including Care Oregon, Meyer Memorial Trust, Providence Health and Services, the J.W. and H.M. Goodman Family Charitable Foundation, and an Anonymous Fund of the Oregon Community Foundation. NHA raised more than $415,000 from these groups to cover services such as: identifying available units, submitting rental applications on behalf of residents, supplying packing and moving services, providing personal transportation, and coordinating utility transfer fees, groceries and household supplies.
Other local nonprofit housing providers, including REACH Community Development, Portland Community Reinvestment Initiatives and Home Forward, may identify units in their affordable housing properties for Rosemont Court residents and will continue coordinating with NHA’s relocation team. NHA will continue to call on the Portland community to support relocation and building rehabilitation efforts. To support these efforts or learn more about NHA, go to nwhousing.org.
About Northwest Housing Alternatives
Founded in 1982, Northwest Housing Alternatives (NHA) is a leading not-for-profit developer of affordable housing in Oregon. Our mission is to create opportunity through housing. NHA develops, builds, and manages rental housing designed for Oregonians with extremely limited incomes. Along with providing affordable housing, NHA provides services that connect tenants to critical health and community resources, work to prevent homelessness before it begins, and offer emergency shelter and services for families experiencing homelessness. Learn more at nwhousing.org.