Ground Blessing for Tistilal Village

by Jul 5, 2023

Wednesday, June 21 was a beautiful sunny day in Portland’s Portsmouth neighborhood, perfect for a Ground Blessing on the summer solstice. Many people from across the community gathered at 7651 Hereford Avenue to celebrate the affordable housing units being rebuilt here at Tistilal Village and to hear remarks from housing organizations and city leaders.

This affordable housing project has been led by NAYA (Native American Youth and Family Center) in collaboration with NARA (Native American Rehabilitation Association of the Northwest) and Colas Construction, which is the largest Black-owned construction firm in the Pacific Northwest.

In a speech at the Ground Blessing event, Andrew Colas, the general contractor for this project, highlighted the fact that NAYA has met its goal of breaking ground exactly when they had planned to– unusual for affordable housing, but NAYA worked diligently to make it happen.

Affordable Housing Plans

The rents for these homes will be affordable to households with incomes ranging between 30% and 50% of the Median Family Income. Many units will also have project-based subsidies, meaning rents will be calculated based on each household’s income. The cost of electricity, WiFi connection, water, sewer and trash service will be included in the rent. There will be 16 permanent supportive housing units for formerly homeless folks, along with services to help them stabilize.

A Community of Support

The Ground Blessing represented years of planning and raising funds for the upgraded Tistilal Village. Speakers at the event included Portland City Commissioner Carmen Rubio, Metro Council President Lynn Peterson, Ian Davie from Home Forward and leaders from NAYA and NARA, including Paul Lumley, NAYA CEO.

Funders for this project include Portland Housing Bureau with the Metro Housing Bond and Housing Trust Funds from Oregon Housing and Community Services. Other partners are Home Forward, Portland Clean Energy Community Benefits Fund, Energy Trust of Oregon, Meyer Memorial Trust and Portland General Electric. Several other businesses and organizations have contributed to building these homes.

Under the blue sky on June 21, the day culminated with an honor song and closing prayer.

Our community has come together behind proven solutions to homelessness.


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