PDX Updates



Grant boosts home goals

One of Portland's leading nonprofit affordable housing organizations is moving ahead with plans to create 1,000 new homeowners by 2017.

HOST Development Inc. recently received $500,000 from the Meyer Memorial Trust, pushing the money raised so far by its Building Blocks campaign to about $3 million. The campaign's goal is to raise $10 million for the construction of new affordable housing.

'By partnering with HOST, we're keeping Portland at the forefront of the fight against losing affordable housing,' the trust's chief executive officer, Doug Stamm, said.

HOST builds and sells energy-efficient homes to first-time homeowners. It currently is selling homes in three developments for $190,000 to $250,000, depending on the home's size.

The organization also has a number of programs that help families earning between 70 percent and 100 percent of the area's median family income purchase the homes.

Since the campaign was announced in March 2007, it has sold 44 homes, begun construction on 87 others and purchased property that will provide 81 more.

HOST stands for Home Ownership a Street at a Time. Information about the organization and the campaign can be found on its Web site, www.hostdevelopment.com .

Buildings earn green

Seven Portland green building projects were awarded grant money this month by the Green Investment Fund for incorporating innovative approaches in their designs.

The two that received the largest chunks - more than $117,00 each - were Park Avenue West and One Waterfront Place.

Park Avenue West is slated to be Oregon's first mixed-use high-rise, incorporating condos as well as office and retail space, and Portland's third tallest building with 33 stories.

One Waterfront Place is going for the highest level of the federal Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification: LEED Platinum. Plans include ecoroofs, rain gardens and a large solar photovoltaic system.

Mercy Corps, the Portland-based international aid nonprofit, received $50,000 for its remodel, now under way, of the historic Skidmore Fountain Building in Old Town.

This year's total award allocation of $425,000 is part of a five-year, $2.5 million fund that is a partnership between the city of Portland's Office of Sustainable Development, the Water Bureau and the Bureau of Environmental Services in conjunction with the Energy Trust of Oregon, a nonprofit funded by the state's major utility ratepayers.

City officials say the goal of the fund is to boost innovation and growth of Portland's green building industry.

- Tribune staff