Nowhere to go: What an affordable housing bond built in Portland

David Erickson

PORTLAND — Charles Coleman’s life has been rapidly transformed since he moved into the Hattie Redmond, an affordable housing complex for Black people in Portland built with taxpayer-funded bonds.

“It’s been a relief,” he explained. “It’s been joy. Clarity of mind. You know, just finding myself because for a long time I didn’t have that privacy that you normally have. So yeah, it’s hard to put into words.”

Coleman, 62, became homeless after injuring himself so badly that he was unable to work. The bills kept piling up, and a studio in Portland was renting for $1,400 a month.

So he was homeless for what he says was a “long time,” living in his van or with relatives or in different shelters. 

He got connected with the Urban League of Portland, a civil rights and social service organization that empowers African Americans and others to find stable housing, employment, health, education and economic security.

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The Hattie Redmond apartment complex provides 60 permanent, stable homes with services for people who have experienced homelessness. The project was funded in part by $4.4 million from Portland’s Metro Affordable Housing

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