WASHINGTON, D.C. – November 24, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — When Human Solutions needed funds—quickly—to acquire a blighted commercial property and convert it into an emergency shelter for homeless families, we were there to help. Early next year the Southeast Portland nonprofit will reopen the shuttered Black Cauldron strip club at Southeast 160th Avenue and Stark Street as Multnomah County’s first year-round, 24/7 family shelter. Providing 130 urgently needed beds for kids and adults, plus laundry facilities, showers, a computer lab and indoor and outdoor play areas, the facility will replace and improve upon Human Solutions’ inadequately sized winter warming center, located a few blocks away.
But earlier this fall, the future of the “Woodshed” property was not so certain. Nicknamed for the restaurant that originally occupied the 1975 shake-sided building, the commercially zoned, transit-accessible site was up for sale in an unusually hot real estate market. Human Solutions Executive Director Andy Miller and his team had vetted the property, secured a short-term purchase option from its private seller, and obtained provisional loan and grant commitments totaling $697,000 from Multnomah County and Metro. But to complete the $950,000 property acquisition and cover an estimated $450,000 in rehab and other costs, Human Solutions needed to fill a $700,000 financing gap by the seller’s October 31 deadline.
That would require a special kind of lender, which could move quickly and offer highly flexible terms—and that lender was HDC Community Fund. HDC Community Fund’s mission is to deliver flexible, low-cost loans for property developments that benefit low-income families and individuals. HDC’s long-term relationship with Human Solutions, as both a development consultant and lender, enabled us to swiftly assess the project’s funding worthiness and approve Human Solutions’ application within a month (it took one additional month to close). “No other lender could have provided us with the flexible terms and short turnaround that HDC Community Fund offered,” said Miller.
We’re proud to support this project, and we commend Human Solutions’ leadership in keeping families off the streets at a time of rising housing instability in our community. Learn more about the SE 160th Avenue emergency family shelter here, and get information about HDC Community Fund here.