Ribbon cutting to celebrate first tribal preference affordable housing development in Portland

Pictured: Nesika Illahee housing development in Portland, Oregon.(Photo: Native American Youth and Family Center)

Press Pool

Nesika Illahee is a 59-unit affordable housing development in the Cully Neighborhood in Northeast Portland, Oregon

News Release

Native American Youth and Family Center

Portland’s Native American Youth and Family Center (NAYA), the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians, the Native American Rehabilitation Association, and Community Development Partners (CDP) will host a ribbon cutting ceremony on Wednesday, January 29, 2020, from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. to celebrate the opening of the Nesika Illahee affordable housing development. A tour of the building will follow.

Nesika Illahee, which translates to “our place” in the Chinuk Wawa language, is a 59-unit affordable housing development in the Cully Neighborhood in Northeast Portland. A unique partnership with the Siletz Tribe uses generous funding from its Indian Housing Block Grant and allows Nesika Illahee to reserve 20 units for Native Americans — a community particularly hard hit in Portland’s housing crisis.

Pictured: Native American Youth and Family Center Executive Director Paul Lumley outside the Nesika Illahee housing development in Portland, Oregon.
Pictured: Native American Youth and Family Center Executive Director Paul Lumley outside the Nesika Illahee housing development in Portland, Oregon.(Photo: Native American Youth and Family Center)

“We cannot solve our community’s housing crisis overnight,” said Native American Youth and Family Center Executive Director Paul Lumley. “Nesika Illahee demonstrates Native American Youth and Family Center’s willingness to be a leader in developing innovative housing models and developing powerful partnerships that allow us to do more — together — to help the community.”

Speakers will include Siletz Tribal Chairman Delores Pigsley, Heidi Fourchette from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury, Mayor Ted Wheeler, and more.

“We are grateful for the time, effort, organization, and all the planning that had to happen to make these homes a reality,” said Chairman Pigsley. “Portland community organizations have helped to address this unique tribal housing opportunity.”

Pictured: Art by Lillian Pitt outside the Nesika Illahee housing development in Portland, Oregon.
(Photo: Native American Youth and Family Center)

Margaret Salazar, executive director of Oregon Housing and Community Services, agreed that the collaborative nature of the project was significant to its success, stating, “These new homes are a critical step towards providing stability for Oregonians in need. It’s exciting to see partnerships that increase housing opportunities for Native Americans and tribal members, creating a new model in Oregon.”

Community Development Partners CEO Eric Paine concurred, "Community Development Partners is incredibly proud to have developed, alongside our partners, this critically needed and groundbreaking community of homes for Native American families. Nesika Illahee is an important step forward in our collective effort to address the need for both affordable housing and culturally responsive services."

About Native American Youth and Family Center (NAYA)

Native American Youth and Family Center provides 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)

The mission of the Native American Rehabilitation Association of the Northwest 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 Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians (Siletz)

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 (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.

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