New Year, New Directions

In October 1993, Community Partners for Affordable Housing (CPAH) elected its first board of directors.  Over the last 30 years, CPAH has done the work of creating quality affordable rental housing for Washington County and SW Portland, providing services to our residents, and managing our housing so that it continues to be available to our residents.  Now, we are celebrating our 30th year anniversary, and we are excited to share our celebration with you.

As many of our supporters know, CPAH has begun providing Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) to people who have been houseless.  While we have always opened our doors to people who are exiting homelessness, supportive housing requires that there is an additional commitment to services and long-term affordability that makes this housing a bit unique.

We integrated a small amount of PSH into Red Rock Creek Commons and Cedar Grove.  Soon (this spring), we will be opening The Joyce – a community in which every unit is set aside for people who need permanent housing with deep affordability and services.  CPAH will also be providing services for Washington County at their new Aloha Inn, opening this winter, providing housing for 54 formerly homeless individuals.  And at Plambeck Gardens and other new projects, we will be setting aside 30% of our apartments to serve formerly homeless people.  Our larger community is making an investment through the Metro Supportive Housing Services Levy, and we are grateful to be part of this effort.

Permanent Supportive Housing is not the only way we are engaging with homelessness.  CPAH is also finding market-rate housing and providing case management services for people who are houseless in Washington County.  This is a serious commitment we are making because we know that we cannot build housing fast enough.

At the same time, CPAH is interested in supporting households who are ready to move forward, leaving rental housing to become homeowners.  This year, we will be exploring new ways to do that work and we will be keeping you apprised of what we learn.   We are excited to go down this path, just as we were excited a few years ago to become more involved in housing formerly houseless people.  We know that for many community members, homeownership is an important way to build wealth and exit poverty; we also know that many of our residents are people of color who have historically been left out of this opportunity.  We feel it is important for us to do everything we can to create more solutions toward righting the wrongs of past discriminatory housing policies and practices.

In 1993, our founders chose the name Community Partners for Affordable Housing.  It is a mouthful, and our acronym CPAH is sometimes mispronounced (just ask me).  But the name fits today for the same reason it did 30 years ago: it speaks to the necessity of a collective effort, an effort that includes service partners, funding partners, civic and business organizations, and of course, individuals, those who live in the broader community and residents in our own buildings.  We need all of you to make the housing we create a success for the people who need it.

Thank you for being part of our CPAH Community and the new directions that will strengthen our organization and our community.

Rachael Duke

Executive Director
Community Partners for Affordable Housing