A New Lease on Life for Families at the Ellington
At the Ellington Apartments, Portland families who have struggled to afford housing are finding stability and community in a place they’re glad to call home. The City acquired the Ellington in 2017, the first property purchased thanks to Portland’s Housing Bond. Now plans are underway to transform all 263 units into permanently affordable homes. So far, 28 families with children that were previously homeless are now living there.
The opportunity for a safe, stable, affordable home is changing the life of residents like Alana Padilla. A mother of four, Padilla and her 13-year-old daughter had lived in a trailer with no electricity and shared a room at a friend’s apartment. After her daughter moved in with foster parents, Padilla moved into a friend’s closet and spent many nights on the street before qualifying for an affordable apartment at the Ellington.
“It was a big closet—it had a window—but it was still a closet,” Padilla said. “For about a year, it was either staying there or staying outside.”
Padilla suffered a head injury that affects her memory and makes it difficult to accomplish everyday tasks, making finding housing a challenge. When she heard about the Ellington, Padilla applied for an apartment there through homeless services provider Human Solutions and found herself as one of the first people on the waitlist.
“I kept telling my kids, ‘we’re gonna get this place, we’re gonna get it!’” she recalls. “When I finally got it, they were really stoked.”
Now that she’s settled in at the Ellington, Padilla feels a renewed sense of comfort and stability.
“A lot of my problems are resolved because I have a steady place to live and I don’t have to worry about it,” she said. “It helps me focus on the things I’m always forgetting to do. I now have time to go and see my daughter every other day, and devote time to all my kids.”
Padilla’s journey is just one example of how Portland’s Housing Bond is changing lives. As more families move into the Ellington and other Portland Housing Bond projects move ahead, we’re proud to make a difference for even more Portland families.