At the May Alliance Planning Meeting, Cameron Herrington, explained how Living Cully works to expand affordable housing and prevent the displacement of residents threatened by rapidly increasing housing costs.  Cully is the “the most diverse community in the state”, with 50% people of color, immigrants, and refugees.  Public transportation is limited; parks and libraries are lacking; sidewalks are few and streets have pot holes. Through its work in NE Portland’s Cully Neighborhood, Living Cully works to prevent displacement and assist low income residents in their fight against rising rents.

When residents of the Normandy Apartments,   received notice last December that their rents had more than  “doubled” from $630 to $1320  per month, Living Cully jumped in to help.  They assisted the tenants in organizing a march and   getting an attorney.   The owner agreed to postpone the rent  increase until July 1, enabling children to remain in their current school placement through the end of the school year.

This decision gave the tenants some breathing room, but they still needed to find affordable housing.  Living Cully posted a message on the social media site “Next Door.”  In response, Nancy  Hiss offered an ADU “accessory dwelling unit” that she had built in her backyard to accommodate her parents, who are now deceased.  At $900 a month, it was the answer to  Normandy apartment tenant, Michelle Labra’s prayers.

The Interfaith Alliance has participated with Living Cully in supporting   the Normandy apartment tenants and   Oak Leaf mobile home park residents to achieve affordable housing.  Living Cully partners include  Habitat for Humanity Portland Metro East, Haciendas Community Development Corporation, NAYA  (Native American Youth and Family Center) and Verde.