Housing We’ve Developed
Building Homes for a Vibrant Community
REACH develops buildings that provide Oregon and Washington families with safe, attractive, affordable homes, enabling residents to invest in their future. To date, we have developed and acquired 2,073 units of housing that are affordable, attractive, and built to last. In 1982, REACH began revitalization efforts in the neighborhoods of inner southeast Portland by buying and renovating single family homes. Our portfolio now includes new and renovated plexes, apartment buildings and mixed-use developments located across the City of Portland and Clark County Washington.
REACH has developed a wide range of properties including single-family rental homes, high-density apartment towers, affordable row houses for first-time buyers and historic apartment buildings. Building low-income housing that is both affordable and welcoming is an art and a science. It’s a journey filled with public meetings, lengthy negotiations, and complex financial transactions. REACH has a long and successful history of developing affordable homes for some of Portland’s neediest residents. Partnering with some of Portland’s leading architects and general contractors, REACH builds innovative multi-family projects that reflect neighborhood character and address the needs of the targeted population. Financing is provided through a combination of hard and soft debt from private and public sources, Low-income Housing Tax Credits, and grant funding. To view a complete portfolio of REACH’s properties, please visit our Property Management website.
A few examples of properties developed by REACH:
Projects in the Pipeline
We are building and renovating hundreds of units in the Portland metro area and Washington state to provide quality, affordable housing for individuals, families and communities to thrive. Click here to download a quick overview of our Projects in the Pipeline.
Join the REACH Staff
Thank you for your interest in becoming a part of our team. REACH’s compelling mission and clear vision create the foundation for rewarding and challenging careers. Each person at REACH has a unique set of skills and talents which help our organization run efficiently and effectively. We are often looking for more people who are dedicated and reliable to add to this community.
Whatever your expertise, you’ll find an environment that encourages innovation, collaboration and professional development. The success of our work depends on the contributions made by every employee of REACH. We are honored to rank as one of Oregon’s 100 Best Nonprofits to Work For, as well as 100 Best Green Workplaces in Oregon, year after year.
REACH honors and encourages diversity. We value employees who contribute to our organization, which embraces a variety of thinking and perspectives. We are a growing, innovative organization that encourage minorities, women and bilingual applicants. REACH is a drug free workplace and Equal Opportunity Employer. Criminal background check and post-offer of employment drug test required. REACH also uses the E-Verify system to establish the right to work in the United States.
REACH does not consider resumes or employment applications unless there is a current open position being advertised.
Passive House & Affordable Housing
Ever wonder how we brought down energy use by 68%? Now you can read about our journey to develop and build Orchards at Orenco, the largest multi-family passive house certified building in North America.
Passive House building is gaining momentum, and for good reason. The focus of passive design is to consciously reduce the amount of energy a building is using. But that is simplifying things immensely. Building to passive house standards means building differently - depending on the climate, location and style of building (i.e. single family home vs. multi-family complex).
We learned a lot building Orchards at Orenco, so we compiled a report of lessons learned and best practices so that you can benefit from our successes and setbacks.
Read: Passive House & Affordable Housing: The Development of Orchards at Orenco
Passive House Links for More Information
REACH’s Orchards at Orenco Project Fact Sheet
Orchards at Orenco’s PHIUS+ Certification Listing
Orchards at Orenco: North America’s Largest Passive House video (courtesy of Ankrom Moisan)
Net Zero Energy Buildings: Passive House + Renewables (see page 62), North American Passive House Network
Q & A with Craig Kelley of Housing Development Center on Orchards at Orenco
“The Largest Passivhaus Building in the U.S.,” Green Building Advisor, Guest Blog by Mike Steffen, General Manager of Walsh Construction (General Contractor for Orchards at Orenco)
“Multifamily Passivhaus Project Starts in Oregon,” Green Building Advisor
“North America’s Largest ‘Passive House’ Opens in Hillsboro, and It’s Actually 57 Affordable Homes,” The Oregonian/OregonLive, June 29, 2015.
“Atypical Affordable Housing,” Daily Journal of Commerce, June 19, 2015.
Passive House 101: Ankrom Moisan Blog, August 20, 2014.
Orchards at Orenco awards and press
Board of Directors
Nancy Bond, President
Portland Public Schools
Kevin Wingate-Pearse, Vice President
Sperry Van Ness/Bluestone & Hockley
Whit Spencer, Treasurer/Secretary
Enterprise Community Development
Jordan Ramis PC
CASA of Oregon
Black United Fund
Dan Valliere [bio]
Chief Executive Director
Chief Financial Officer
Director of Housing Development
Director of Asset Management
Director of Property Management
Director of Programs
Director of Philanthropy
Mary Lou Cleary
Director of Human Resources
Bringing much needed affordable housing to Clark County Washington, Isabella Court is the first of a planned two phase project, located within the Central Vancouver Neighborhood Revitalization Area.
Isabella Court, the first of a planned two phase project, will be located on the northern portion of a site in one of the last high density zoned vacant parcels within the Central Vancouver Fourth Plain Corridor in Washington. All units at Isabella Court will be available to residents 62+ with incomes at or below 60% area median income. The property is strategically located on the Fourth Plain Corridor to address an area that is under served for seniors but with great accessibility to a wide range of services, emphasizing REACH’s commitment to affordable living. The site is located along new planned infrastructure improvements with the local Bus Rapid Transit and is within the Central Vancouver Neighborhood Revitalization Area. Isabella Court is being built to the Evergreen Sustainable Development Standard (ESDS) with its focus on energy efficiency and promotion of sustainable living. Isabella Court is bringing much needed affordable rental housing to Clark County and will utilize several partners to bring appropriate services.
We broke ground in November 2015 with an expected one year construction period. For more information on the Isabella Court Apartments, read the Isabella Court Project Overview.
Towne Square Apartments
In September 2014, REACH purchased the Towne Square Apartments in Washougal, WA. Towne Square is a Rural Development apartment complex with 40 units of subsidized apartments built in 1977.
The apartments consist of 12 one-bedroom units and 28 two-bedroom units. The community serves families with very low incomes, the elderly, and persons with disabilities. Rural Housing rent subsidy remains available.
REACH fully rehabilitated the exterior of the building including new siding, building wrap, insulation, flashing, roofs, windows and doors so the building is better insulated and protected from water intrusion and weather. We also re-configured the building to add back a community room and computer lab. All commons areas and two units are now ADA accessible.
Inside the apartments, kitchen and bathroom cabinets, counters and flooring have been replaced in most units; baseboard heaters have been replaced with more efficient cove heaters; more water efficient fixtures were installed; and new air ventilation systems were installed to improve the air quality. Construction began in October 2014 and completed in April 2015. For more information on the Towne Square Apartments, please download the Towne Square Project Overview.
In February 2011, the Portland Housing Bureau announced that a team including REACH CDC has been selected to develop a City-owned site in the Gateway Urban Renewal District, using $6 million in City funding.
Glisan Commons (Phase I) and Gilman Court (Phase II) is an innovative, mixed-use, transit oriented development located in Portland’s Gateway Urban Renewal District, leveraging expertise from three of the region’s most successful nonprofit agencies. The project will provide affordable homes, transit options, and important social services to lower income seniors and working class households in East Portland. The project is being developed in two separate phases.
Glisan Commons (Phase I), developed by Human Solutions opened in February 2014 and includes one mixed-use building with 67 units of workforce housing with 16,000 square feet of commercial space located on the ground floor, owned and operated by Ride Connection, a transportation service provider catering to seniors and people with disabilities.
Gilman Court (Phase II), developed by REACH, opened in April 2015 and includes a 60-unit residential building for those 55+, bringing the total number of units to 127. The project leverages local tax increment financing to bring much needed affordable rental housing and economic development to the neighborhood. Gilman Court broke ground in March 2014. Gilman Court is named in honor of Dennis Gilman, REACH’s founding Executive Director. You can read more about Dennis here. For more information, please download the Gilman Court Project Overview.
Orchards at Orenco
Strategies of providing affordable housing built at transit-oriented (TOD) design locations with green building technology match REACH’s goals of providing a more comprehensive model of affordable living.
In 2013, REACH set out to secure an affordable TOD site in the Orenco Station neighborhood in Hillsboro, given its proximity to light rail and multiple community amenities.
Over the past 15 years, several thousand housing units have been developed in and around Orenco Station, but currently there is no affordable workforce housing available to those earning under $30,000/year. In 2013, REACH purchased a site abutting the MAX light rail station at Orenco Station. The land is being used to build a three phase project over the next 5-6 years totaling approximately 150 units of affordable housing for working families.
Orchards at Orenco Phase I opened in June 2015 and is the largest certified multi-family building in N America built to Passive House energy standards. Tenants will receive unprecedented savings on their energy bills, achieving nearly 90% energy reduction for heat usage and 60-70% for overall energy use as compared to a LEED Certified building. Some of the key innovative features include triple-paned windows, a heat recovery system and a super-insulated building envelope.
Orchards has won several awards already:
- 2015 Portland Business Journal’s Better Bricks Sustainable Project of the Year award for its commitment to green technology and energy efficiency
- 2015 Passive House Institute U S (PHIUS) Building Project Competition in the Best Overall Project and the Best Affordable Housing Project categories
- 2015 Oregon Opportunity Golden Hammer Award for Best Overall Project
Orchards has also received a significant amount of local and national press. A select group of articles include:
For a full list of media coverage, visit our Newsroom.
Members of the Orchards Development Team, consisting of REACH CDC, Walsh Construction, Ankrom Moisan Architects, Green Hammer, and the Housing Development Center have attended numerous local and national conferences, making presentations about lessons learned about the design, construction and development of the project.
For more information, please download the Orchards at Orenco Project Fact Sheet. You can also download the Anatomy of a Passive House (compliments of Ankrom Moisan Architects). (Image: copyright Ankrom Moisan Architects)
REACH CDC and the Portland Housing Bureau (PHB) partnered to develop the first affordable rental housing in the emerging South Waterfront neighborhood, Gray’s Landing. REACH was selected by PHB through a “Request for Qualifications” process in 2010. Gray’s Landing broke ground in April 2011 and celebrated it’s grand opening in December 2012. Portland’s newest neighborhood now has access to 209 units of affordable, attractive housing. The project utilizes bond financing and tax credit equity, along with tax increment funds from the North Macadam Urban Renewal Area. Gray’s Landing is a collaborative development between REACH, City Commissioner Nick Fish, and the Portland Housing Bureau. Gray’s Landing is close to public transit options, providing easy access to Oregon Health and Sciences University, the Veterans Administration Medical Center, and other community services. Support services and rent assistance for residents are provided by REACH, the Veterans Administration and Home Forward, and focus on serving veterans experiencing homelessness. The building features 56 studios, 123 one-bedrooms, and 30 two-bedroom units, many with breathtaking views of Mt. Hood and the Willamette River. It also contains 17,000 sq ft of commercial space, and REACH’s new headquarters. Green features play a significant role at Gray’s, with fresh air ventilation directly to all apartments; on-site storm water management through the green roof and second level courtyard; well insulated exterior envelope, low use plumbing and electric fixtures; and Energy Star appliances. Gray’s Landing has received LEED Platinum certification for new construction by the US Green Building Council. The building is named after philanthropist and developer John Gray to honor his longstanding support of affordable housing and his contributions to the built environment in Oregon. For more information, please download the Gray’s Landing Project Overview or frequently asked questions. To view pictures of the building and Grand Opening event, click here. Gray’s Landing is featured on Enterprise Community Partner’s website.
Patton Park Apartments
After less than a year of construction, Patton Park Apartments opened in February 2009. The Overlook neighborhood in Portland, Oregon now a new 54-unit building for working families*, and 4,600 square feet of commercial space. In 2006, Tri-Met, the region’s public transportation provider, selected REACH to build a mixed-use transit-oriented development (TOD) one block from the MAX light rail Killingsworth Station. Units include 12 family-sized 3-bedrooms. This development marks a transition for a neighborhood faced with gentrification and in need of commercial activity serving local residents. Patton Park was developed with grants and loans from the Oregon Housing & Community Services, Portland Development Commission, Bank of America, Enterprise Community Investment, Network for Oregon Affordable Housing, Metro, the Housing Authority of Portland, and The Home Depot Foundation. TriMet secured the property and provided a discount on the sales price. For more information, please download the Patton Park Project Overview.
Station Place Tower
“The Pearl Without the Price” is how Station Place Tower is most commonly known. Built in 2005, Station Place Tower’s large scale and prime location among high-end condominiums allowed REACH to take advantage of innovative systems, local green building expertise and funding from local government sustainability programs. Station Place Tower’s success has inspired interest from all over the world. The building includes the largest rainwater harvesting and reuse system for a residential building in the City of Portland. This stormwater management system is a model for future public and private projects developed in Portland and throughout the United States. Station Place Tower received the City of Portland’s BEST Award for the Stormwater Management System in 2005. For more information, please download the Station Place Tower Project Fact Sheet.
The Admiral Apartments
The Admiral is a historic, 37-unit apartment building placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1990. Located in the heart of the downtown Portland Park Blocks on SW Park and SW Taylor, It’s occupied by low-income seniors and disabled residents. The Admiral’s Section 8 rent subsidy contract was set to expire at the end of 2010 but the owner wished to maintain the affordability by selling the building to an experienced non-profit housing provider with the resources to extend the subsidy and upgrade the building. REACH purchased the building in November 2008 and completed a substantial renovation in 2010. The building re-opened to residents and the Admiral remains affordable. The Portland Development Commission and Oregon Housing and Community Services are providing renovation and permanent financing for the project. The Lee Bradford Lacey Community Room is dedicated to Lee Lacey, a long-time Portland civic activist who lived in the Admiral for 27 years. Lee suffered from the debilitating genetic disease epidermolysis bullosa. Despite the herculean challenges in his life, Lee lived with dignity, grace, and a strong sense of giving back. In 1992, Lee said, “I try to seek out quality. I try to head toward the light.” The Admiral won first place in May 2011 by the Daily Journal of Commerce for the Top Projects Awards - Renovations $5.1 - $15M
For more information, please download the Admiral Apartments Project Overview.
Walnut Park Apartments
Located in the heart of northeast Portland in the King neighborhood, Walnut Park is home to many senior citizens living on fixed incomes. The City identified Walnut Park as one of eleven Portland area properties in danger of being sold and losing their affordable rents. In order to preserve and maintain much-needed affordable homes for Northeast seniors, REACH purchased the building and oversaw a major renovation. The apartments are available to those earning less than 50% of area median family income and features many green innovations such as bioswales, community gardens, and improved indoor air quality. REACH celebrated the grand re-opening of the building in June 2010. For more information, please download the Walnut Park Apartments Project Overview. You can also read about our 2013 Metlife-Enterprise Award for Excellence in Affordable Housing for Walnut Park.
In 2010 REACH acquired The Maples Apartments, two projects that provide housing for low-income senior citizens in Hillsboro, Oregon, close to public transit, shopping and restaurants. The Maples Apartments offer subsidized rental units for those who are age 62 or older. Under REACH’s ownership, the properties will retain their rent subsidies for decades to come. REACH began renovation work on the buildings and site in fall 2011. Work was completed in spring 2012. Special thanks to Constructing Hope for building beautiful new garden beds for our residents. Click here for pictures. For more information, please download the Maples Apartments Project Overview.
Scattered Site Development
REACH’s historic beginnings lie with the scattered site properties primarily in inner southeast Portland.
In 1982, the REACH staff and board of Portland’s first community development corporation started raising money to buy and renovate vacant properties in disrepair.
These properties became the beginning of REACH’s permanently affordable homes for working families with low incomes.
The majority of these homes were built in the early twentieth century and renovated in the 1980’s and 1990’s by REACH. REACH has also constructed a handful of new homes on infill lots.
The Before and After photos of 1925 SE Alder St. in the Buckman neighborhood are an example of what inspired residents concerned about housing conditions and neighborhood livability to establish REACH. This five-unit Victorian property was purchased by REACH in 1984 and underwent major renovations.
REACH & Passive House
Orchards at Orenco is the largest multi-family Passive House building in North America. It has been featured in the North American’s Passive House Network (NAPHN) e-book, Net Zero Energy Buildings: Passive House + Renewables (p 62) and has received several awards.
REACH & Passive House
REACH’s newest development, Orchards at Orenco is built to Passive House standards. But what is Passive House?
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