March 2022 Update > Joint Statement from Catholic Charities of Oregon and St Philip Neri Parish

Dear Community:

It is with much regret that we share that we will no longer be pursuing the development of affordable housing at the St. Philip Neri Parish campus. We truly appreciate the thoughtful engagement and partnership that many of you offered throughout the past several years as we explored this opportunity. Although we shared your excitement at the prospect of providing affordable housing at this location, , to date we have been unable to obtain the funding needed to move the development forward and the Parish has found it necessary to focus on other opportunities to meet Parish needs. Catholic Charities will continue their work to bring affordable housing and services to communities throughout the state – we encourage you to reach out if you have any interest in following the other developments in the works ( The Parish will continue to host the school(s) in the classrooms on the property and will continue their commitment to maintaining the other buildings on the property. The Parish will be sharing more information as additional plans further develop.

Again, we have truly appreciated your involvement over the years and we look forward to our continued engagement with you all in our respective roles in the community.

In partnership,

Catholic Charities of Oregon and St Philip Neri Parish



June 2021 UPDATE > Update Affordable Housing Initiative

Current Project Status: Since our last communication in March 2021, several items have moved forward as noted below:

Option-to-Lease: The Option-to-Lease after being negotiated by our respective attorneys for SPN and CCO as well as a final review by the Archdiocese of Portland, Fr Andrew signed the Option-to-Lease the week of April 26, 2021.

  • This document binds St. Philip Neri more formally to this Affordable Housing Initiative with key provisions provided to SPN such as: 
    • $850,000 dwn payment (this is consistent terminology, and it is related to the rectory.)
    • and a $60,000 annual grund lease*. 
    • CCO must notify the parish by February 2022 on start of construction. This allows the parish to maximize the renting of the two schools at the same time their leases are up for renewal.


  • CCO submitted application for funding to State on April 30 after having received the signed Option-to-Lease from Fr Andrew which was reviewed by the attorney retained by the parish but paid for by CCO. This signed document was a requirement for the application.
    • The expectation is that that CCO may not hear for up to three months (sometime in Summer 2021) regarding the status of the application. Until this time, we are on pause. 
    • Apprximately 30% of projects get funded through the State and there’s no way of predicting the likelihood that ours will be one of them. 

Points in our favor are:

  • the City f Portland has already awarded contingent funding for the project.
  • tw populations we will serve are high priorities for both City and State: The project will serve people that have experienced chronic homelessness and/or those that have disabilities through Affordable Permanent Supportive Housing – meaning, they will have affordable housing with additional services to help them maintain stable housing and remain safe and healthy. 
  • c-sponsorship with St. Philip Neri, an Archdiocesan entity, and a premier location within the city and highly accessible by transit, specifically the Southeast.
  • CCO has had additinal meetings with City planners and transportation department, called a “pre-application meeting” or “early assistance” meeting. This meeting provides additional site-specific requirements from the city that CCO will need to address in the final design and construction. 

ADDENDUM: In initial discussions, we thought the entire project after both Metro and State funding would require additional funding due to a shortfall. This has been resolved through design modifications, and a few other sources of non-competitive funding which makes this project financially viable at the time of state funding application submission. 










For more information:

DESIGN:  Modifications of the design were made based on a variety of factors. (Slides can be found on the SPN website at and/or on page 2 of this communication.)

  • New construction:
    • The ever-increasing cst of construction (related to pandemic and supply chain issues – in particular, lumber costs), budget constraints, and public input from parish and the neighborhood. 
    • The new building facing Division Street is three stories dropping to an attached, one-story section which faces 16th takes into consideration and is respectful of the houses across the street. 
    • 37 units in the new building – 25 one-bedroom, 12 two-bedroom
      • Units on ground floor will be accessible (a percentage of ground-floor units will be designed to be fully ADA compliant, per code requirements, and all will be “visitable” – meaning there will be no stairs to enter units and doorways will be wide enough for mobility equipment).
      • Unit focus matches up with typical housing demands in our community, with other CCO developments available nearby for households of different sizes 
      • All common areas will be ADA accessible. 
      • Community room and office in the one-story structure.
    • It’s all wood-frame construction, no platform design – this provides significant cost savings by simplifying the construction type.
    • Currently, the exteroir is stucco to align with the budget and meet the historic district requirements.
      Note: that brick is also allowable but is cost prohibitive to be considered at this juncture.
    • The project includes design requirements as required by the Ladd’s Addition Historic District*.
      *There are citywide design requirements for certain areas of the city, but since we are in Ladd’s Addition, it takes precedence. 
  • Old Church (OC):
    • Once the school is removed, the OC will become more visible, therefore enhancing the overall, visual appeal of the initiative.
    • There will be 13 units in the OC (12 1-bedrom and 1 studio) The 1-bedrooms on the upper floor will all be lofted to preserve the tall stained-glass windows as well as provide lots of light to each residence. 
    • This building will als have its own set of facilities: laundry, secure bike parking, etc.  
  • Exterior spaces:
    • Parking. Design of the outdoor spaces and parking was re-evaluated to reduce the costs:
      • keep as much of the existing parking lot as possible to avoid expenses of reconfiguring for new parking.
      • ten parking places are reserved for residents. 
    • Piazza. Current budget does not support enhanced finish at the piazza, but a fundraiser to support a special material, such as pavers, could be coordinated with the help of the Parish. (e.g., TBD since construction is at least a year away from starting.)
    • Primary east-west drive aisle aligned with the historic alley location.

Ground Lease
Now that the options-to-lease is signed, the next step is the Ground Lease which formalizes the full scope and detail of our long-term lease with CCO. Attorneys on both sides will begin to meet after funding is approved. TBD at this time. 

Rectory Improvements: 
These improvements are on pause until funding is approved. 

We continue to have discussions with our neighbors regarding this project. As expected, there have been some objections which CCO and Fr Andrew continue to address. There are also a number of HAND neighbors who are very supportive of the project. 

  • CCO presented (via Zoom) at the Hosford-Abernathy PTA Meeting held on May 13, 2021. Members of SPN’s Core Committee were also present. 
  • CCO will send out a June update to their list serve. if you want to get information, please click on the link below to sign up) or read on our website via the weekly email newsletter                                                     


Current Designs as presented by CCO:









































About the project

In 2019, Catholic Charities of Oregon and St Philip Neri Parish began a dialogue to explore shared interest and benefit in possible affordable housing which could be integrated into the St. Philip Neri Parish property. This eventually led to the launch of a more formal feasibility analysis toward the end of 2019 to explore possible uses for the project. This includes preservation and reuse of the 1913 Church, a new building along Division, and community gathering spaces. 


Populations to Be Served






REVISED PLANS > As presented to to Hosford-Abernathy Neighborhood District (HAND) on March 16, 2021

March 2021 UPDATE to the parish.


JUNE 2021 UPDATE to the parish

Coming soon,