Siletz Tribe, Native American orgs partner on affordable housing in Portland

Image courtesy: NAYA Family Center

Siletz Tribe Indian Housing Block Grant enabling historic partnership to build affordable housing for Native families

News Release

NAYA Family Center

A collaboration between the Native American Youth and Family Center (NAYA), the Native American Rehabilitation Association of the Northwest (NARA NW), Community Development Partners, and the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians will create 59 units of affordable housing in Portland’s Cully Neighborhood. The historic project, Nesika Illahee, meaning “Our Place” in the Chinook language, is the first time the partners have come together to construct affordable housing for tribal members and other Native families in Portland using generous funding from the Siletz Tribe’s Indian Housing Block Grant. Those funds have generally been used for affordable housing activities within reservation lands.

The project’s groundbreaking ceremony will be Tuesday, November 20, from 10 a.m. to noon at 6300 NE 42nd Avenue in Portland.

“We are very pleased to partner with NAYA and NARA and provide Siletz tribal members with the opportunity for affordable housing in the Portland area. This will benefit tribal citizens for many years to come,” says Siletz Tribal Chairman Dolores Pigsley.

NAYA and NARA will partner on delivering onsite behavioral health, dental, and recovery services, as well as referral to NAYA’s center-based services located less than a mile away.

“Displacement is a major problem in the Native American community due to increasing rental and housing costs and low household incomes. Nesika Illahee will be a step towards bringing Native community members closer to NAYA, the historic site of the Neerchokikoo tribal village. We are excited to bring an opportunity for Native Americans to return to what is now the Cully neighborhood, while meeting their urgent need for housing,” says Paul Lumley, NAYA executive director.

Eric Paine, chief executive officer of Community Development Partners, the project’s developer, says, “CDP is elated to be working with our partners in bringing this important community that will serve Native American residents to fruition. Providing high quality housing that is permanently affordable alongside robust ongoing programming is the foundation of CDP’s mission.” The development was designed by Carleton Hart Architecture and will be built by LMC Construction.

Nesika Illahee will target tribal members in Portland and the wider urban Native population particularly hard hit by the Portland housing crisis. Through this historic tribal-nonprofit partnership, all of the Nesika Illahee units will comply with the Fair Housing Act, with 20 units reserved for enrolled members of federally recognized tribes including Siletz.

The groundbreaking ceremony is one of several high-profile community events during this Native American Heritage Month. NAYA’s annual gala and art auction occurs on November 16, and the Siletz Restoration Pow Wow is on November 17.

About Native American Youth and Family Center (NAYA)

Founded by the community, for the community, NAYA is a family of numerous tribes and voices who are rooted in sustaining tradition and building cultural wealth. We provide culturally-specific programs and services that guide our people in the direction of personal success and balance through cultural empowerment. Our mission is to enhance the diverse strengths of our youth and families in partnership with the community through cultural identity and education.

Native American Rehabilitation Association of the Northwest (NARA NW)

The mission of NARA is to provide education, physical and mental health services and substance abuse treatment that is culturally appropriate to American Indians, Alaska Natives and anyone in need.

About the Siletz Tribe

A group of many tribes and bands, each with its own language, territory, and customs became the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians in the mid-1800s. The Siletz Tribe offers many programs and services to tribal members, including housing, education, health, and social and employment services. Culture and language classes also are available in all areas in which the tribe has offices, including Siletz, Portland, Salem and Eugene.

About Community Development Partners

Founded in 2011, Community Development Partners develops and operates sustainable, life-enhancing affordable housing with a focus on long term community engagement and innovative design. The company’s mission is to repair and strengthen the fabric of cities and towns by meeting the housing needs of local citizens through the thoughtful planning and creative development of sustainable, affordable communities.

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