New affordable housing opens in NE Portland, Kotek says she hopes for more

Published: Mar. 9, 2023 at 5:33 PM PST
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PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) - Hacienda Community Development Corporation cut the ribbon on Thursday on a project years in the making.

Property that used to be the Sugar Shack and what once was a neglected site in NE Portland, has been transformed into a new community in the Cully Neighborhood for families looking for affordable homes

Officials like Governor Tina Kotek say new housing such as this this four-story apartment building on NE Killingsworth will make a difference.

“This project this community, this home is going to continue to transform this community,” says Kotek.

Two years ago, the property was just a construction site and now Las Adelitas contains 142 studio to 3-bedroom units. It also includes a courtyard and commercial kitchen. It all came together thanks to many helping hands. Redstone Capital, $21 million, Network for Oregon Affordable Housing (NOAH), $9 million and money from Portland Housing Bonds, $15 million, bringing the $58 million project to life.

Dr. Ernesto Fonseca, the CEO of Hacienda bought the land in 2015 for $2.7 million - but he says the hardest part of the project was buying a place that didn’t want to be sold.

“Paying a premium cost for a building that was really rundown was complicated,” says Dr. Fonseca. “It was a big lift for an organization that didn’t have the cash in hand, so we had to get some lending partners to help us do this. Initially it was hacienda Habitat for Humanity Verde that came together to combine our books, our balance sheet and then buy it.”

“It should be easier for communities to come together and put the resources together and the plans together to get to a home like this for the people who need it,” says Kotek.

Michelle Hornbeck was one of the first tenants to move in. She came from a past of homelessness living in Downtown Portland.

“I had been assaulted twice, I had witnessed an attack out in front of my building so it just wasn’t the safest place for me,” says Hornbeck.

Michelle says Las Adelitas offers opportunity she’s never had before but most importantly, feeling safe.

“My stress level is down, I sleep better, I eat better, I smile more,” says Hornbeck.

It’s a sense of achievement that hopes to inspire culture and uplift the Latino community for the future

“I want the next generation to have a level field where we can accomplish this and showcase through our culture that you’re welcome here that this is who we are and everyone is welcome and this is what we have to offer. Sharing our culture, our colors, our sounds, it is part of what we are and what we will be,” says Dr. Fonseca.

Kotek says she’d like to see 36,000 housing units added per year over the next decade.

The Las Adelitas community is accepting applications.