Broadway Vantage - How We Did It
The Nuts and Bolts
The Broadway Vantage Apartments are a great example of urban infill and transit oriented development. IHI used a former I-84 off-ramp to create an attractive, mixed-use housing development one block from the 82nd Avenue MAX station, and right on the 82nd Avenue and Halsey Street bus lines. This location provides quick and easy multi modal transportation options to many stores, services, and employers. A transit oriented development like Broadway Vantage makes life more convenient, less costly and more accessible for residents.

Using infill sites makes good sense but it is not always easy. This parcel presented challenges due to significant grade changes (a very steep slope), contaminated fill dirt that had to be mitigated as part of the project, and its proximity to transportation arterials, including I-84. IHI secured special project funding from Metro to support several transit-oriented elements of the project, including structured, tuck-under parking, a five story building (sometimes called a 4-over-1, meaning we have four stories of housing over one story of commercial space) that had additional cost due to structural shear walls, fire sprinklers, a concrete first story, and elevator, major site work including retaining walls that allowed us to create a more usable site footprint for larger buildings and increased density, and commercial space that makes the property a mixed use site. In this case, the commercial space houses a child care center, which is a complementary use for affordable family housing, but we still could not use the same funding sources to build commercial space that we used to build housing so it required additional financing.

The grade changes on the property required a significant amount of engineering and an extensive retaining wall system. IHI used 14 steel pilings under the large building, which are about 12 inches in diameter and extend about 30 feet into the ground, to avoid placing extra pressure on the retaining walls. We wanted to be sure that building is rock solid on the slope!

The project was financed using $2.15 million in HOME funds awarded by the City of Portland, $1.9 million in Oregon Affordable Housing Tax Credits (which buy down the interest rate on the permanent loan), a Housing Trust Fund Grant from Oregon Housing and Community Services, a $250,000 Affordable Housing Program grant by the Federal Home Loan Bank of Seattle, $225,000 of transit oriented development funds from Metro, and federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTCs). LIHTCs provide a dollar for dollar reduction in tax liability to their buyer, who typically pays less than a dollar for each credit. This creates an incentive for investors to buy LIHTCs from affordable housing developers and generates equity for affordable housing projects. There is a 15-year compliance period for LIHTC projects, during which the investor must remain in the deal and the project must satisfy income and rent restriction requirements. Learn more about LIHTCs and how they work.

What was Innovative?
IHI was awarded funding by the Portland Schools Foundation to pilot our School and Community Success Program at Broadway Vantage. The program is designed to limit school mobility, increase parent involvement in their children's education, and help students achieve overall academic success. Although the building was not complete until October, 2008, IHI's resident services staff started working with families who were pre-leasing units over the summer to ensure that they were enrolled in and connected to community schools in September when school actually started. IHI worked with Project Return to provide transportation to local schools for homeless students prior to move-in and provided bus passes to other families to offset transportation expenses. In spite of the program being brand new, the results for that pilot year are amazing: 100% of students and 90% of parents demonstrated an increased connectedness to their school, 82% of parents increased their involvement in their children's educational experience, and 91% of participants improved their academic performance. IHI has expanded this program to four of our family sites, where it continues to be extremely successful and forms the core of our youth programming.