BRIDGE Opens Affordable Portland Community

The project’s financing partners include Multnomah County, the Portland Housing Bureau and U.S. Bank.
Songbird. Image courtesy of BRIDGE Housing

BRIDGE Housing has opened Songbird, a 61-unit affordable community in Portland, Ore. The project received $4.5 million in capital funding from the Portland Housing Bureau, as part of the city’s N/NE Neighborhood Housing Strategy.

In addition to a $5 million donation towards construction, the administration of Multnomah County had donated the land to the developer, Deborah Kafoury, chief executive officer of Multnomah County, said in the official ribbon-cutting video. Additionally, U.S. Bank provided a $27 million financing package consisting of a $16 million construction loan and $11 million in direct low-income housing tax credit equity.

The five-story building is located at 2140 N. William Ave., in Portland’s Eliot neighborhood. Featuring two- and three-bedroom units, the community has a landscaped courtyard, a community room, a play area for children, as well as an urban plaza that serves as a hub for the surrounding communities. The team of architects at Ankrom Moisan Architects even designed individual stoops for ground-floor units.

Social context

Under the city’s N/NE Preference Policy, current and former community residents who were displaced or are at risk of displacement enjoy priority to live at Songbird. Furthermore, general contractor Colas Construction focused on involving women, members of the BIPOC community and local businesses in its subcontractor hire plans. According to BRIDGE Housing Senior Vice President of Development Aruna Doddapaneni, 44 percent of the subcontractor hires were part of these groups.

Last month, BRIDGE Housing opened another affordable housing community in San Francisco. Along with partner Mission Housing Development Corp., the joint venture broke ground on the 157-unit La Fénix in January 2019.

According to Yardi Matrix data, Wells Fargo Bank originated a $58.3 million financing for the project. The building topped out a year later and became the largest permanent affordable housing development in the area.