A Week At CPAH

Our housing crisis is front and center locally, statewide, and even nationally. This is as it should be, because a community where so many people don’t have anywhere to live is not the kind of community any of us really want for ourselves, loved ones, and others. The attention to housing means that executive directors (like me) of affordable housing agencies (like CPAH) have an opportunity to participate in important conversations and multiple meetings. While the work that is happening internally at CPAH is inspiring to me, I have been thinking about how our work is deeply connected to these discussions and decisions that include other community-based organizations, jurisdictions, elected officials, and business partners.

I want to share a list of meetings I attended or committed to in just one week.

Following the opportunities that CPAH had to participate as advocates in the short legislative session, I was invited with many other people to be present while our governor ceremonially signed four housing bills at Tistilal Village, a Native American Youth and Family Center affordable housing community in North Portland. It was exciting to be there and to be with so many of my colleagues from other organizations. The legislative session was short, but it created impactful resources for affordable housing. Thank you to the elected officials in Salem who made this happen. And to the agencies that advocated hard for these resources.

Also, I had the opportunity to participate as an advisory member in the Metro Regional Stakeholder Advisory Table to discuss the Supportive Housing Services levy that taxpayers voted to support three years ago. This levy is crucial in allowing CPAH to address homelessness, and while not everyone around this table shares the same exact opinion, everyone is there because they care about the future of our region, and they believe that we should be addressing homelessness. I was grateful to be there and to be part of that convening.

This same week CPAH was invited to participate in a city of Tigard community planning conversation so that we can share our expertise on affordable housing development and services. We also had a chance to meet with the Sherwood School District, talking about ways to support the families who will be living at Plambeck Gardens.   I also attended a meeting with other housing agencies to discuss the ways we keep our residents safe and secure.

There are multiple other community meetings that staff attend. Important meetings where we want to be present, including an affordable housing policy meeting co-chaired by our Housing Director Jilian Saurage Felton, and a meeting to prepare for a Washington County Housing and Supportive Services meeting co-chaired by our Charlie Voss-Flowers, CPAH’s Data Quality and Assurance Specialist.

All of this was just in one week.

It seems like a lot, and it is, but it is an essential part of creating and managing systems that work. And I am proud of the way that CPAH is involved outside of just our organization.


Warmly –

Rachael Duke, Executive Director