The AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust (HIT) is investing $25.9 million of union and public pension capital for the rehabilitation of Westmoreland Union Manor in Southeast Portland.This financing will allow for modernization of the apartment building and keep 100 percent of the project affordable to Portland seniors. The project will create approximately 290 union construction jobs.
Westmoreland Union Manor was originally built in 1966 with 301 age-restricted (62 years or older) units. To improve the property’s current condition, the new financing will help rehabilitate the building by replacing all major systems with new, energy efficient systems, and perform a seismic retrofit. The modernization will extend the useful life of the building for another 50 years.
The HIT’s financing will help preserve the affordability of this project. Over one-half of the project’s units are affordable to extremely low-income households with incomes at less than 30 percent of area median income.
The building is managed by Manor Management, a union-based property management company that also manages Kirkland Union Manors I, II, and III in Portland, Marshall Union Manor in Northwest Portland, and Kirkland Union Plaza in Vancouver, Washington.
“We are enthusiastic about investing in Westmoreland and the City of Portland. Providing high-quality and affordable housing for seniors is a necessity,” said Emily Johnstone, HIT’s managing director of business development.
Preservation of existing buildings and affordable units is crucial, as there is a high demand for affordable housing in Portland. Changing demographics and low vacancy rates have created significant increases in market rate rents.
With the Westmoreland project, the HIT will have invested $48 million in Oregon since 2010. Union pension funds were used to build Coquille Valley Hospital. According to the HIT, these projects have a total development investment of $90 million, which has generated an estimated $164 million in total economic benefits. These investments have provided $63 million in total wages and benefits for workers, including $31 million for union construction workers. More than 1,140 total jobs have been created across industry segments, including approximately 510 union construction jobs. These benefits have generated $10 million in state and local tax revenue and $12 million in federal tax revenue.
“This means good jobs for our members and an opportunity to help our community through the rehabilitation of this important affordable housing development in Portland with union labor,” said John Mohlis, executive secretary of the Oregon State Building and Construction Trades Council.