On Wednesday, August 2, Central City Concern (CCC) broke ground on the first of three buildings in the Housing is Health initiative—a pioneering commitment from local hospitals and health systems in supportive, affordable housing.
CCC also announced the name of the building—Charlotte B. Rutherford Place—which honors one of Portland’s pioneering African American families
and their impact on the entire community.
Multnomah County Commissioner Loretta Smith, Portland City Commissioner Dan Saltzman, Providence Health & Services - Oregon Regional Chief Executive Dave Underriner, KeyBank Key Community Development Corporation Vice President Beth Palmer Wirtz and the Honorable Charlotte Rutherford spoke.
The 51-unit apartment building (34 one-bedroom and 17 two-bedroom units) is part of the City of Portland’s N/NE Neighborhood Housing Strategy to address displacement and gentrification in the historic
neighborhoods of North and Northeast Portland by prioritizing longtime or displaced residents with ties to the community for new affordable housing
opportunities in the area.
Hon. Charlotte Rutherford is a community activist and former civil rights attorney, journalist, administrative law judge and entrepreneur. Her parents, Otto G. Rutherford and Verdell Burdine, were major figures in Portland’s Black civil rights struggle. Her father was president and her mother was secretary of Portland’s NAACP chapter in the 1950s, and they played an important role in passing the 1953 Oregon Civil Rights Bill. Her grandfather, William, ran a barbershop in the Golden West Hotel—now a CCC residential building—and Otto worked there as well. Charlotte still lives in Portland’s Albina District, in the same house in which she grew up.
"I'm so honored to accept this for the entire Rutherford family, especially my mom and dad," Ms. Rutherford said.
Charlotte Rutherford Place major contributors include KeyBank, Portland Housing Bureau, Oregon Housing and Community Services and the Housing is Health coalition of six health organizations: Adventist Health Portland, CareOregon, Kaiser Permanente Northwest, Legacy Health, OHSU and Providence Health & Services - Oregon.
“The Housing is Health contribution is an excellent example of health care organizations coming together for the common good of our community. Housing
for lower income working people is critical to the improvement of health outcomes.” said Ed Blackburn, CCC president and CEO. “This housing will remain
affordable for generations and it couldn’t come at a better time.”
The design and development team is Home First, the architect is Doug Circosta and the builder is Silco Construction. CCC is engaged in a $3.5 million capital campaign to complete funding for three buildings that will all break ground by the end of October.