Community leaders and residents celebrate the opening of The Canopy Apartments at Powell in Portland

Public-private partnership made
169-apartment community possible

Several dozen community leaders, company officials and residents celebrated the grand opening April 5 of The Canopy Apartments at Powell, a much-needed apartment community in east Portland.

“This is the best place I’ve ever lived,” said resident Jessie Love, who recently lived in a Tiny Home Village and experienced homelessness for almost a decade before moving to The Canopy Apartment at Powell with his pet rabbit, Mamas. “This is an opportunity for change, for a better life.”

The Canopy Apartments at Powell – located at 12475 SE Powell Blvd., about 12 miles east of downtown Portland – was possible through a public-private partnership between USA Properties Fund, Northwest Housing Alternatives, and Oregon Housing and Community Services.

The Canopy Apartments at Powell has easy access for Love and other residents to public transportation, schools and several shopping centers in east Portland.

The 169-apartment community, available to residents who meet income requirements, features a long list of amenities, including a bike room, an after-school program for children a few days a week, a courtyard with a tot lot, a dog wash and a donation pantry, allowing residents to share food resources.

The $63 million development is the first of two apartment communities in Oregon for USA Properties Fund.

Far-reaching and forward-looking efforts to address the critical shortage of affordable housing, including through legislation and local bond measures passed by voters in recent years, attracted USA Properties to Oregon.

USAP Canopy Apartments at Powell | USA Properties Fund, Inc.
The Canopy Apartments at Powell

“The Canopy Apartments at Powell is an excellent project to enter the Portland market and introduce our company to Oregon,” said USA Properties President Geoff Brown, who knows the region well, earning a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Willamette University in Salem. “We greatly appreciate the relationships we have developed and enjoy working with Northwest Housing and OHCS. They are partners who understand affordable housing and the importance of providing housing for lower-income residents.”

USA Properties Fund and Northwest Housing Alternatives are also partners on Terracina Vista, an affordable apartment community under construction in nearby Gresham.

“Canopy Apartments offers wonderful affordable housing opportunities,” said Trell Anderson, Executive Director of Northwest Housing Alternatives. “We are grateful for the partnership with USA Properties Fund and OHCS. We know stable affordable housing like this gives kids who live here a better opportunity to succeed in education and we look forward to supporting them and their families with an after-school program.”

The public-private partnership, including $15.2 million from OHCS’ Local Innovation and Fast Track (LIFT) Housing Program, was critical in paving the way for The Canopy Apartments at Powell.

“This investment aims to create more affordable housing while also fostering connections within communities,” said OHCS Director Andrea Bell. “The truth is clear: when people have access to opportunities, it leads to greater social and economic mobility and prosperity. Today, we are taking actions toward that goal. This city has seen powerful examples of why this is so important, and The Canopy at Powell Apartments once again highlights the strong link between housing and justice.”  

The Portland Housing Bureau also had a leading role in making Canopy Apartments possible, waiving millions of dollars in development fees.

WNC & Associates and JP Morgan Chase are financial partners on the project. WALSH Construction Co. was the general contractor.

“WNC is proud to serve as a financial partner for The Canopy Apartments at Powell,” said Anil Advani, Executive Vice President of Originations and Finance at WNC. “The Portland market is long overdue for an increase in affordable housing investment. We are pleased to continue expanding our footprint in Oregon and providing affordable housing for many years to come.”

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Smaller rents and three-bedroom apartments 

The Canopy Apartments at Powell will provide more affordable housing for Portland-area residents, where half of households that rent are cost-burdened, spending at least 30% of their income on housing, according to the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University. One of four renters spend more than 50% of their income on housing.

“We’re proud to have played a role in the development of the Canopy Apartments at Powell, which will bring much-needed affordable housing to individuals and families in Portland,” said Bob Powers, Managing Director of Chase Community Development Banking. “These high-quality, sustainable units will be an indispensable asset for the community, increasing the local stock of affordable housing and helping improve the lives of the residents who will call it home.”

The recently opened apartment community is for residents earning less than 60% of the area’s median income – about $54,180 for a two-person household or $73,140 for a family of five. Rents range from about $1,224 for a one-bedroom apartment to $1,680 for a three-bedroom unit.

Those rents are significantly less than nearby market-rate apartments in the Portland region, according to multiple rental sites.

About half of the apartments are three-bedroom units at Canopy Apartments at Powell, meeting the need for larger living spaces for families.

Amenities include elevators, laundry facilities on each floor, and on-site parking. Apartments can also accommodate tenant-owned air conditioning units, if necessary.

Apartments feature electric heating; laminate flooring; energy-efficient appliances, lighting insulation and windows; and low-flow faucets, showers and toilets. Canopy Apartments also boasts healthier indoor air and a more weather-resistant design, and used building materials found within 500 miles – benefiting local businesses and reducing the environmental impact from shipping.

“If you want change, you just have to go for it. This feels like home.”

Jessie Love, resident (Love with his pet rabbit, Mamas, at the grand opening celebration with other guests).
The Canopy 14 | USA Properties Fund, Inc.

USA Properties Fund – already with 90 apartment communities in California and Nevada – could further expand with more projects in Oregon.

“Oregon and Portland-area leaders are committed to addressing the critical shortage of affordable housing, and we are looking forward to looking for projects that make sense for our company and partners,” Brown said. “Canopy Apartments is an excellent example of what we can accomplish when we work together to find effective housing solutions for residents.”

Love, who moved into his one-bedroom apartment a few weeks ago, agrees.

The apartment community is “about getting a foot under you,” Love said. “If you want change, you just have to go for it. This feels like home.”