A New Lease on Life at the Ellington
In February 2017, The Ellington Apartments became the first property acquired with Portland’s Housing Bond, making all 263 apartments and townhomes permanently affordable. For residents like Amity and Christian, living at the Ellington has given their families stability, peace of mind, and the comfort of home.
In 2017, Christian Doyle and his two children were approved for a program that would pay their rent at the Ellington for a year. After living in a homeless shelter for two years, they were able to move into a two-bedroom home.
“I like the Ellington. It’s in a nice quiet neighborhood and a good area with good neighbors. It’s very secluded and my son likes it. He has privacy and his own bedroom. Privacy is a big thing, after living in the homeless shelter for two years. After two years there, my son was like, ‘thank you Dad.’ He’ll be a senior in high school next year.
We got lucky and got into a program where they pay your rent for a year. My income is so low I wouldn’t have been able to afford housing otherwise. I got lucky and got on the subsidized list, so once my year is payed, I’ll only pay 60 percent of the rent, which I’ll be able to do.
The neighborhood is very quiet. You don’t hear traffic, don’t hear people yelling and screaming. It’s right next to the MAX, so you can hear the MAX sometimes—but it sounds like the ocean. It’s a great neighborhood.”
Amity Cunningham and her two children were approved for affordable housing at the Ellington in September 2017, two months before the end of their lease.
“It’s really important to me to be able to live in this area—I'm close to work and I’m able to be near my grandma who’s 86. My kids can even ride their bikes to school if they need to. Our church is on this side of town. Everything for us is really located here in NE Portland.
If our rent had gone up, even a little bit, there’s no way we could have stayed. We would have had to go out to Gresham or Hillsboro. I can’t even imagine what that would mean for our lives having to move that far away.
Transitioning to affordable housing here has made a huge difference for us. My rent dropped $600, which was significant for me. I was barely making ends meet before and there were things I was having to pay late in order to get rent in on time each month, and prioritize rent, our vehicle, and insurance.
Having a teenage son, a ‘tween’ daughter, and myself, we really require three bedrooms at this point in our lives. Finding a three-bedroom apartment at a reasonable price was pretty amazing. We’ve been pretty lucky here.”