Clackamas Community Land Trust’s office in Gladstone will close in mid-December as it merges with Portland nonprofit homeownership organization Proud Ground.

The new organization will serve Multnomah, Washington and Clackamas counties with affordable opportunities for low/moderate-income and first-time home buyers.

“Integrating the two organizations is an important move in the right direction for homeownership services in our region,” said Elaine Albrich, chairwoman of Proud Ground’s board of directors. “Combining the organizations into Proud Ground helps ensure greater stability by achieving efficiencies and economies of scale with a single administrative office for region-wide services and will allow us to dedicate a greater portion of the budget to support direct services to our homeowners.”

Proud Ground’s board will increase from nine to 12 members to include regional representation. The first Clackamas County Home Buyer Information Session will be Tuesday, Dec. 18, in the community room of Northwest Housing Alternatives, 2316 S.E. Willard St., Milwaukie.

“The economy is changing, our region is changing,” said Natasha Detweiler, chairwoman of Clackamas Community Land Trust, in describing the motivation for the integration. “It was important to evaluate, in the current environment, what would best sustain the services of our organizations that deliver on our missions of providing affordable homeownership opportunities. This integration is a great thing for the region.”

Proud Ground will continue to use the shared-equity model of homeownership in its newly expanded service area.

This model allows sellers to earn a reasonable return on their initial investment — often just a $500 down payment — while ensuring that, upon resale, the home remains affordable for future generations of home buyers. In addition to permanently affordable homes and one-on-one home buyer education and counseling, Proud Ground provides extensive post-purchase support for homeowners. Homeowner repair matching grant funds; assistance with selling a home; foreclosure prevention counseling; and home repair/maintenance consultations are just some of the services available to Proud Ground homeowners.

“Creating a single regional organization from two organizations that provide the same services, in neighboring communities, allows for greater awareness and delivery of our programs,” said Proud Ground Executive Director Jesse Beason. “Proud Ground serves all families priced out of the market. But we play an important role in helping communities of color realize the dream of homeownership, and that work will continue in our service to Clackamas County. We welcome the opportunity to bring more housing options to more families throughout the Metro region.”

Support for the integration was provided by several local and national foundations and trusts.

“We are truly indebted to Meyer Memorial Trust, The Collins Foundation, and the National Community Land Trust Network,” said Beason. “These funders recognize not only the importance of the integration, but also the significant resources required to successfully navigate this very complex process.”

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