On Friday, February 15th at 11am, Portland Community Reinvestment Initiatives Inc., (PCRI) invites the media and community stakeholders to join in the celebration to begin the construction of King + Parks, a 70 unit affordable housing development being built at the corner of NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. and Rosa Parks Way.
The event will feature a Land Acknowledgement ceremony in honor of the indigenous Native Tribes of this land, and the historic African American settlers, both communities which experienced traumatic displacement. The ceremony will also pay tribute to the fearless freedom fighters, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks, whose names adorn the intersecting streets of the development.
King + Parks is part of a series of developments which were greenlighted through PCRI’s innovative Pathway 1000, a displacement mitigation strategy designed by PCRI as a “Right To Return” initiative for the displaced residents that primarily consisted of the African American community, indigenous populations, and other long-term residents.
At the behest of the Portland Housing Bureau and Commissioner Dan Saltzman who selected the team to develop the site, PCRI and partners, Colas Construction and Merryman Barnes Architects, are moving full-steam ahead with construction in an ongoing effort to address Portland’s history of urban renewal and other actions by City government in North and Northeast Portland that have systematically marginalized and displaced many longtime residents of that community. Utilizing Portland Housing Bureau (PHB) N/NE Preference Policy, PCRI’s Pathway 1000 plan prioritizes families and individuals with generational ties to N/NE Portland for new affordable housing opportunities in the area and gives opportunities to housing applications from current or former residents of those areas and their descendants.
The first successful implementation of the plan resulted in the construction of the Beatrice Morrow Cannady Apartment Complex located on NE MLK last year. The building’s namesake, civil rights worker Beatrice Morrow Cannady (1889-1974), was renowned as a tireless advocate for the Black community, the first African-American woman to practice law in Oregon and a distinguished chair of the Portland NAACP’s committee on legal redress
The King Parks complex promises to be another jewel in the community and a victory in the struggle for affordable housing opportunities in Portland.
“King Parks is another step in the right direction that seeks to correct the housing issues caused by income disparities in the city of Portland and State of Oregon. Beyond the brick and mortar development, this project, implemented through the Pathway 1000 strategy, also addresses unemployment, under employment, wage disparities and the inequitable treatment that lead to these noted disparate outcomes which hit-low income and communities of color especially hard.”