Native American Youth and Family Center, Community Development Partners, Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians break ground on new affordable housing in Portland, Oregon's Cully neighborhood

Mamook Tokatee southwest corner rendering.(Image: courtesy Native American Youth and Family Center)

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Mamook Tokatee a step in the right direction to demonstrate that Native culture and artists still have a place in Portland

News Release

Native American Youth and Family Center

Fresh off the success of opening the historic Nesika Illahee affordable housing development, the Native American Youth and Family Center (NAYA) has again partnered with Community Development Partners (CDP) and the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians (Siletz Tribe) to break ground on its latest project, Mamook Tokatee.

Mamook Tokatee, a Chinook Wawa phrase for “make beautiful,” will create 56 units of affordable housing in Portland’s Cully Neighborhood when completed. Mamook Tokatee will be the second time the partners have come together to construct affordable housing for tribal members, Native families, and others in Portland using funding from the Siletz Tribe’s Indian Housing Block Grant. Those funds have generally been used for affordable housing activities within reservation lands and allow for certain units to be reserved for Native tenants. Tribal funding will supplement other conventional sources of funding.

Mamook Tokatee is also Native American Youth and Family Center's second affordable housing project in Cully co-owned and co-developed with Community Development Partners.

Mamook Tokatee affordable housing project in Portland, Oregon

Eric Paine, chief executive officer of Community Development Partners the project’s developer, says, “Community Development Partners has had a wonderful experience partnering with Native American Youth and Family Center and the Siletz Tribe on our second joint development focused on providing high-quality affordable housing to urban Native Americans and Siletz tribal members. Like our first project, Nesika Illahee, we’ve taken multiple complex funding sources and woven them together in order to create a model tailored to the Native family and artist population that will be calling the community home.”

Intended to create affordable housing for Native Americans and artists who have been pushed out of Portland due to skyrocketing housing costs, Mamook Tokatee will target Siletz tribal members in Portland and the wider urban Native population particularly hard hit by the Portland housing crisis. A recent report by the Portland Housing Bureau found that no neighborhoods in Portland have one- or two-bedroom apartments affordable enough for the average Native American household that earns $29,859 a year.

Adhering to Earth Advantage green building standards, the development was designed by Carleton Hart Architecture and construction by LMC Construction is currently underway at Northeast 42 Avenue and Going. In addition to 56 dwelling units, Mamook Tokatee will also offer a community art studio, a courtyard, and public art by local Natives.

“The Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians is very pleased to again partner with Native American Youth and Family Center and Community Development Partners on Mamook Tokatee,” says Siletz Tribal Chairman Delores Pigsley. “It has long been a goal to provide much needed affordable housing for tribal members in the Portland Metro Area. We appreciate the collaboration and look forward to another amazing project.”

Where Nesika Illahee offers additional on-site services to families in recovery, Mamook Tokatee’s focus will bring much needed affordable housing to the Cully neighborhood with a focus on the Native community and artists. Both affordable housing properties are located on 42 Avenue and near Native American Youth and Family Center.

“Artists have always been revered culture keepers in Native communities,” says Paul Lumley, Native American Youth and Family Center executive director. “The impact of gentrification on the Native community in Portland has been devastating. With their absence, opportunities for our youth and the broader community to see their culture represented here have been diminished. Mamook Tokatee is a step in the right direction to demonstrate that Native culture and artists still have a place in Portland.”

Construction is expected to take over a year and leasing to begin in late 2021.

More information, including video interviews from key partners, can be found at https://nayapdx.org/services/housing/mamook-tokatee/.

About Native American Youth and Family Center (NAYA)

Founded by the community, for the community, Native American Youth and Family Center 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.

About Community Development Partners (CDP)

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.

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. 

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(Image: Native American Youth and Family Center)
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