Innovative Housing, Inc.'s Organizational History
Mission
Innovative Housing, Inc.'s was formed to develop and preserve affordable housing by creating innovative solutions to unmet housing needs. Innovative Housing, Inc. ("IHI") has embraced the flexibility afforded by its charitable purpose to create many unique housing developments throughout the Portland metropolitan area. IHI's projects include several multifamily rental properties for families and individuals, as well as mixed income and transit-oriented homeownership projects that respond to the needs of individual homebuyers with limited incomes and the region's urban planning goals.

History and Developments
IHI was established by the Housing Authority of Portland in 1984 to facilitate a lease-to-own program for eight low-income families at scattered sites throughout Portland. In 1988 Senior Housing, Inc., another nonprofit created by the Housing Authority, was merged into Innovative Housing and IHI took over operations of a 10-unit project for the elderly. In 1989, at the request of the Housing Authority, IHI became involved in preserving the Foster Apartments in Portland's Old Town. The Foster Apartments provided 96 units of Single Room Occupancy (SRO) housing for very low-income elderly and disabled tenants that were at risk of being lost to the market. IHI eventually became the General Partner of a Limited Partnership that acquired and renovated the Foster Apartments using a combination of federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits ("LIHTC's"), public funding, and private bank financing.

Following the successful completion of the Foster Apartment building, which was rededicated in 1998 as Lyndon Musolf Manor in honor of IHI's founding Board President, IHI continued to develop low-income housing for families using LIHTC's. In 1992 IHI completed the development of Village Square, a 72-unit apartment complex with 62 two-bedrooms and 10 three-bedroom apartments for families below 60% of area median income. Also in 1992, IHI opened the doors at Hewitt Place, providing 44 three-bedroom townhouses for low-income families, 25% of which were set aside for formerly homeless families. Case management and supportive services for these families were originally provided with funding received from the Robert Wood Johnson Homeless Families Program.

In 1994 IHI redeveloped the long-vacant Morrison Park building in downtown Portland, creating 60 units of low-income housing targeted at entry level workers in the downtown area (48 studios, 6 one-bedrooms, and 6 two-bedrooms). In addition to housing, this project contains classroom space that IHI provides free of charge to Portland Community College and three commercial spaces. In 2005 IHI renamed this property the Whitmarsh Building in honor of its long-time Board President, Michael Whitmarsh. 1994 also heralded the opening of Kinnaman Townhomes, a 40-unit development (22 two-bedrooms and 18 three-bedrooms) for low-income families, with 25% set aside for formerly homeless families and/or survivors of domestic violence. IHI works with county government and a local service provider to coordinate the provision of supportive services and case management to these residents and provides rent-free space to Love-N-Care Learning Center, enabling it to offer reduced-fee child care to the residents and neighbors of Kinnaman Townhomes.

In 1998 IHI revisited its goal of creating affordable homeownership opportunities for buyers with limited incomes. The 1990's saw housing prices in the Portland area dramatically outpacing increases in income. Because most public subsidy programs and lending institutions seeking CRA credits were targeting households earning less than 80% of area median income ("AMI") for homebuyer assistance, those earning between 80 and 100% of AMI were often falling between the cracks. IHI developed the Arbor Vista Condominiums as a mixed-income project for first time homebuyers earning up to median income. The Arbor Vista Condominiums are located in West Portland, a neighborhood where cost would otherwise be prohibitive for those earning less than AMI. They are easily accessible by public transportation (located across the street from a MAX light rail station) and were developed without public subsidy. The financing mechanism that IHI used to make this project possible is a "soft second" mortgage, or a Shared Appreciation Mortgage ("SAM"). Using its own funds, IHI provided SAMs to ten of the 27 purchasers who earned less than AMI. They pay no interest on the SAM during the life of the loan, nor does interest accrue, but when the buyer sells the condo they repay the SAM along with a proportionate share of the condo's appreciation.

IHI continued its work in the homeownership field with a second mixed-income homeownership project in 2000, this time focusing on buyers with incomes between 60 and 80% of AMI. Cornerstone Condominiums created 46 condominiums in downtown Portland. Recognizing that downtown real estate prices were cost prohibitive for most low-income people, IHI reserved 36 of the condos for first time homebuyers earning between 60 and 80% of AMI. Four of the condos were sold at market rates and six others were retained by IHI to provide rental housing for very low-income individuals living with disabilities. IHI worked with the Portland Development Commission to provide SAMs to the 36 buyers earning less than 80% of AMI in order to achieve below-market purchase prices.

IHI's last homeownership project is located adjacent to a larger tax credit development of which IHI is a General Partner. Center Commons is a transit-oriented development located in Northeast Portland, in close proximity to the Center MAX Station. It is comprised of The Commons Apartments (172 units of rental housing for seniors at or below 60% of AMI), 5819 NE Glisan Apartments (56 units of market rate housing), and Center Village Apartments (32 two-bedrooms, 26 three-bedrooms, and 2 four-bedrooms of housing for large, low-income families - of the 60 units, 48 are reserved for families earning 50% or less of AMI and 12 are set aside for those earning 30% or less of AMI). In addition to the rental housing at Center Commons, which opened in 2000, IHI undertook the development of 26 three-story townhouse condominiums for first time homebuyers. Although the project won multiple design awards and is recognized by city, state, and private funders as an example of good urban development, the townhomes themselves ran over budget and were difficult to sell due to a struggling real estate market and nation-wide economic downturn. Thus, IHI was not able to target as many units to low-income buyers as it had hoped, but at least seven of the homebuyers had household incomes at or below AMI and purchased with the assistance of a shared appreciation mortgage provided by IHI. These buyers also benefited from 10-year tax abatements offered by the City for income-qualifying households.

In addition to its earlier multifamily developments, Innovative Housing is also a co-General Partner in two rental projects that were acquired and renovated using tax-exempt bond financing and 4% LIHTCs. The Springtree Apartments were completed in 2000 and provide 72 units (20 one-bedrooms and 52 two-bedrooms) for households earning 60% or less of AMI in southeast Portland. The Garden Park Apartments were completed in 2002 and offer 63 units (62 two-bedrooms and 1 three-bedroom) of housing for low-income households earning at or below 60% of AMI in Gresham.

In 2004 IHI refocused its efforts on special needs housing - IHI strengthened existing partnerships with local service providers and reprogrammed several units in its portfolio to house homeless people with various disabilities and service needs. In early 2005 IHI secured site control of a small building to develop housing for chronically homeless adults. IHI was awarded acquisition and rehabilitation funding by PDC and was selected by the City of Portland to receive rent subsidy and service funding for chronically homeless adults through the McKinney Supportive Housing Program. This project was completed in November 2006 and now provides safe, permanent housing.

In 2005 IHI acquired a two-acre site on 82nd Avenue that was formerly a freeway on-ramp. IHI completed construction of 58 new units at the Broadway Vantage Apartments in 2008, with a smaller building fronting 82nd (containing studio and one-bedroom units) and a large building that contains family-sized units (2, 3, and 4-bedrooms). Fifteen units are set aside for formerly homeless families, who receive case management services from Impact NW through the Bridges to Housing Program. The ground floor of the large building includes indoor/outdoor community space, meeting rooms, a community kitchen, and a Creative Minds Learning Center. Creative Minds receives reduced rent and provides child care to apartment residents at reduced rates. IHI also constructed a playground that is open to the public and facilitated a community art project that resulted in a tile mural that represents contributions from over 150 neighborhood residents and stakeholders.

In 2006, IHI was awarded a new allocation of 9% tax credits and Tax Increment Financing to preserve and rehabilitate Lyndon Musolf Manor. IHI began an extensive systems and seismic upgrade in 2007, phasing the project so that commercial tenants could remain open and residents were relocated for only six months at a time. IHI completed the renovation in 2009, preserving or returning many historical elements of the building, replacing major building systems, and making the building safer for residents in the event of an earthquake.

In July, 2007 IHI acquired an ownership interest and operating control of The Clifford Apartments. Located just across the river from downtown in the Central Eastside, The Clifford historically housed low and very low-income households. During 2008 IHI used The Clifford as temporary housing for Musolf Manor residents while their apartments were under construction. IHI then spent two years assembling acquisition and construction financing, and weathering an economic climate that nearly doomed the project multiple times. Construction was delayed throughout 2009 due to the loss of two historic tax credit investors, but the project was completed in December 2010. IHI restored historic elements and brought the building back to its original configuration, increasing the number of apartments from 83 to 88. The project also created new community space and offices for supportive services.

Also in June 2010, IHI completed acquisition and rehabilitation of the Hewitt Place Townhomes. This project was made possible by American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds and enabled IHI to preserve 44 three-bedroom units of family housing that could easily have been converted to market rate housing after the end of its 15-year LIHTC compliance period. IHI upgraded residential units and replaced most exterior elements, significantly extending the life of the project. IHI also converted one of the units into ground floor community space and a second-floor one-bedroom unit, providing space for Resident Services to offer services such as financial education and eviction prevention, and activities that include afterschool programming for youth.

In addition to the projects described above, IHI acquired Village Square Apartments in 2007 and the Whitmarsh Building in 2010, and Center Village in 2015 as they exited their LIHTC compliance periods. This means that the units are now in non-profit ownership (as opposed to being owned by tax credit limited partnerships) and will be preserved as affordable housing.

IHI completed acquisition/rehab of the Modern Rich Apartments in 2012, completed the new construction of The Magnolia Apartments in 2013, renovated the Erickson Fritz Apartments and completed the new construction of The Woodwind Apartments in 2015.

All total, IHI has developed and operates 1,026 units of affordable rental housing for low and very-low income families and individuals throughout the Portland metropolitan region. In addition, IHI has completed three mixed-income homeownership projects, for a total of 93 condominium units and 53 ownership opportunities for households earning less than area median income.