PDC Community Livability Grant Program

Community Livability Grant Program

A new round of PDC Community Livability Grant funds was announced on February 21, 2012, with up to $300,000 in grants  available in each of the Interstate and Lents Town Center URAs. These grants support a wide variety of community benefits: historic preservation, open spaces and gardens, community and cultural centers, social services, job training, and the growth of local businesses. All interested applicants are required to attend a mandatory workshop to learn more about project eligibility, completing the application, and the evaluation and selection process. For Interstate, the workshop will be March 6 at the June Key Delta Community Center, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. or 5:00-6:30 p.m.; for Lents Town Center, March 7, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at SE Works. 

Each year, the Portland Development Commission seeks proposals that foster vibrant and  healthy neighborhoods within the Interstate Corridor and Lents Town Center Urban Renewal Areas. Grants are available through the PDC Community Livability Grant Program for real property improvements to public facilities and neighborhood and cultural amenities that meet the needs and honor the diversity of area residents.

Grants are awarded through a competitive process and are intended to encourage projects that address community objectives, advance social equity, focus on disadvantaged Portlanders, and build local community capacity. Projects must add, expand or improve physical space that benefits the broader community.  Examples include:

  • Community health or nutrition centers
  • Education and workforce training centers
  • Recreational space
  • Childcare centers
  • Open space and community gardens
  • Music, arts and cultural centers
  • Historic or cultural assets
  • Senior centers

PDC has awarded more than $2.2 million in Community Livability Grants since 2006.  The typical grant ranges from $5,000 to $50,000.

To see more detailed information about the Application, including submittal requirements, schedule, evaluation criteria and more, please see the PDC webpage at: http://www.pdc.us/for-residents/community-livability-grant.aspx

Community Livability Grants: making a small but mighty difference

Our partnership with PDC gave us both the material and technical support to revitalize our 1928 mission-style building, currently being used to deliver services to members of the African American community. PDC staff showed their true commitment to improving the livability of this historically important structure, while giving the tenants a sense of uplift and pride in their environment. We truly appreciate the support provided to the African American Health Coalition, Inc.
 Corliss McKeever, AAHC
AAHC Before and after


PDC’s investments helped us create a high profile, sustainable community space that benefits Ethos’ families and our neighbors in the Humboldt neighborhood. We think very highly of PDC and the support weve received has been crucial to our success in shaping Ethos into a dynamic nonprofit organization. We are extremely grateful.
- Jedidiah Chavez, Executive Director
Ethos Music Center


This project almost killed me in the process, but when I look across the street now and see the results and my neighbors actually using the space, it was all worth it.“ 
- Terah Beth Varga, TBBV Design

Our Happy Block

African American Health Coalition 

With a grant from PDCs Community Livability Grant program, the African American Health Coalition (AAHC) has seen a transformation of the historic building they own on N Mississippi, just one block north of Russell Street.  AAHC used the PDC grant to replace 70 leaky vinyl windows on the buildings east fa

Mayoral and City Council Candidates Forums, hosted by NECN and Concordia University

Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods and Concordia University Co-Host
Two Mayoral and City Council Candidates Forums

The February 28th event will focus on community livability issues such as jobs, transportation, and housing.  The March 22nd forum will focus on a range of education issues, from Pre-K through to Higher Education.

What are the issues that matter to you?  At the forums, community members will be invited to share their own questions and concerns. Questions that are not addressed on the spot will be compiled and given to the candidates with a request to provide written responses. All responses will be shared with the public.

Please join us to share what matters to you and to show that North/Northeast Portland Votes!

When: Tuesday, February 28th 7pm to 9pm: Community Livability Focus

            Thursday, March 22nd, 7pm to 9pm:  Education Focus

            The doors open at 6:30pm for both events

Who: Mayoral Candidates:   Eileen Brady, Jefferson Smith, Charlie Hales

          Council Candidates:    Amanda Fritz, Mary Nolan, Steve Novick,

                                           Teressa Raiford, Mark White, Jeri Williams

          Moderator:            Carl Talton (Feb. 28th); Keith Thomajan (Mar. 22nd)

Where: February 28th:  2nd floor of the Hagen Campus Center, Concordia University, 2811 NE Holman, Portland, OR

March 22nd: Lobby of the George R. White Library & Learning  Center, Concordia University, 2811 NE Holman, Portland, OR

Please help spread the word about the forums, download a pdf of the flier here, or call 503.823.4575 for more information.

Click here for directions to Concordia University

Proposed Code Changes to Enhance Portlanders’ Connection to Food are Now Available for Public Review

The Urban Food Zoning Code Update project team has released a Discussion Draft of changes to the City of Portland Zoning Code that will affect the way food can be grown and distributed in Portland  particularly in our neighborhoods.

These proposed changes reflect the comments many Portlanders gave us on the Concept Report  last summer. They support community gardens, farmers markets, for-profit market gardens, food buying clubs and Community Supported Agriculture (CSAs) at a scale that is appropriate to neighborhoods and helps build community. Public comments on the Concept Report are covered in the Summary of Concept Report Questionnaire.


Over the past few months, project staff has been working closely with a Code Development Advisory Group (CDAG) to take the concept ideas from last summer and develop draft zoning code language for this public review. The CDAG was composed of 18 members with a variety of interests, perspectives and experiences around urban food production and distribution.

Tell us What You Think

Your thoughtful feedback and constructive critique of the proposed zoning code changes in this Discussion Draftwill guide the final code language that staff presents to the Planning and Sustainability Commission later this spring (a hearing is tentatively scheduled for April 24). An online survey is available for you to provide input on the zoning code changes.

Comments will be accepted until 5 p.m., Wednesday, March 7.

Please submit your comments online or by mail/email to:


Julia Gisler

Bureau of Planning and Sustainability

1900 SW 4th Avenue, Suite 7100

Portland,OR 97201

Email here.

Urban Food Code Update Discussion Draft Community Meetings

You can also learn more about the project and provide comments on the Discussion Draft at two community meetings in late February.


Community Open House

Tuesday, February 21, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Learn how these proposals will affect growing, selling and buying food in our neighborhoods

St. Philip Neri Church

2408 SE 16th Avenue (frontage on Division Street)

TriMet Bus #4 


Health Partners Meeting

Tuesday, February 28, 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Learn how these proposals promote health

June Key Delta Community Center

5940 N Albina Avenue

TriMet Bus #4

In addition to these meetings, project staff will be available to meet with groups interested in learning more about the project. Contact Julia Gisler at julia.gisler@portlandoregon.gov (503-823-7624) for more information. 

How do I get a copy of the Discussion Draft?

An electronic version of the Urban Food Zoning Code Update Discussion Draft is now posted on the project website. Hard copies will be available at the community meetings and the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability offices at1900 SW 4th Ave., 7th floor, or call 503-823-7700 to receive a copy. 

Be Cart Smart and raise funds for your community organization!

Opportunity to raise funds for your community organization!


How can your neighborhood association, nonprofit group, ethnic group or community of faith raise funds while teaching Portlanders how to compost their food scraps with ease? 


Portlanders are doing a great job adapting to the new Curbside Collection Service with food scrap composting and the change to weekly pick up of the green Portland Composts! roll cart and every-other-week garbage collection. 


To continue to help Portlanders become successful at food scrap composting, the city is seeking groups of volunteers ages 18 years and older to provide door-to-door  training and troubleshooting for residents in St. Johns, Woodlawn, King, Concordia, Cully, Centennial, Lents, Powellhurst-Gilbert, Brentwood Darlington and Woodstock.  Volunteers earn $2.00 per conversation or $.50 per piece left behind for their organizations.


Timeline for outreach:

Feb 28th- March 10th: North Portland and St. Johns

March 13th- April 7th: NE Portland (King, Woodlawn, Concordia, Beaumont, Cully, etc)

April 10th- April 18th: Outer NE Portland

April 19th- April 28th: Outer SE Portland

May1st- May 19th: SE Portland


Contact Babs Adamski (503-823-8753barbara.adamski@portlandoregon.gov) or Ren

Announcement of Neighborhood Prosperity Initiative micro-districts

Portland Development Commission

Please join us for an important event:

Tuesday, February 7 at 9:30 AM
Adventist Medical Center
10123 SE Market Street, Amphitheater C
Detailed map 

Mayor Adams will announce those communities that have been selected to participate in the Neighborhood Prosperity Initiative. Districts submitted a letter of interest in participating in this community-driven economic development process. Selected districts will become urban renewal areas and will receive other support from the City including technical assistance and training. These areas will become the citys partners in building capacity to drive their community economic development.

You have shown an interest in the Neighborhood Economic Development Strategy and the work PDC and the city are doing in East Portland, and we hope to have you in attendance to celebrate this milestone for the Neighborhood Prosperity Initiative. 

City of Portland, Portland Development Commission and Multnomah County

Governing and Managing Your Neighborhood Association

Neighborhood association board members have the opportunity to learn from and ask questions of one of Oregons leading experts on non-profit governance and managementPortland attorney Cindy Cumfer.


Cindy has years of experience working with neighborhood associations in Oregonand is a co-author of the definitive Oregon Nonprofit Corporation Handbook. Nearly all Portlands neighborhood associations are registered as non-profit corporations with the Oregon Secretary of States Office and need to followOregons Nonprofit Corporation Law.


Bring your neighborhood association Articles of Incorporation, bylaws and any board policies with to both workshops. Get your questions answered. Meet neighborhood leaders from across the city. 

  • Find out what neighborhood board members are supposed to do to manage their neighborhood association;

  • Explore strategies for how to do it and find out how others are managing their neighborhood associations.

  • Learn about common problem areas for neighborhood association leaders, including clarifying the board’s governance role, having good financial controls policies, and more; and

  • Discuss how a neighborhood manages itself, including rules about the directors’ obligations to be informed, attend meetings and follow the legal standard of care; and the use of committees and officers and policies to keep board business moving and efficient.

DATE:        Wed. February 29, 2012

TIME:         7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

PLACE:      First United Methodist Church, Fireside Room

                  1838 SW Jefferson


PARKING:      Some parking available. We encourage you to take public transitthe church is having a number of events that evening.


TRANSIT:      Accessible by MAX-Light Rail on the blue or red lines at the Goose Hollow stop. Tri-Met bus lines 6, 58 and 68 all stop right at the church. Bus lines 51 and 63 both stop a few blocks away.


Snacks and beverages will be provided.


REGISTER ONLINE:  Governing and Managing Your Neighborhood Association–Feb. 29, 2012


This training opportunity is brought to you by:  Central Northeast Neighbors, East Portland Neighborhood Office, North Portland Neighborhood Services, Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods, Inc., Southeast Uplift Neighborhood Coalition, Neighbors West-Northwest, Southwest Neighborhoods, Inc., and the City of Portland Office of Neighborhood Involvement.


Another upcoming training opportunity for neighborhood leaders:

For more information about these workshops, contact your neighborhood coalition office, or Paul Leistner at the Office of Neighborhood Involvement (503-823-5284; paul.leistner@portlandoregon.gov).


Accessibility:  The facilities for the February 29 and March 29 trainings both are wheelchair accessible. The Office of Neighborhood Involvement will make reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities and provide language interpretation upon request. Please notify us no less than five business days prior to the event by contacting Paul Leistner at 503-823-5284 or paul.leistner@portlandoregon.gov, or via the City’s TTY at 503-823-6868, or by calling the Oregon Relay Service at 800-735-2900.