Built in 1966 by the Union Labor Retirement Association, the seven-story, 300-unit complex located in Southeast Portland’s Sellwood-Moreland neighborhood is home to 333 low-income seniors. ULRA is a nonprofit founded in 1962 by Earl B. Kirkland and other leaders of Portland’s building trades unions.
The rehabilitation of the building includes the complete replacement of the building envelope, new domestic water and HVAC systems and greatly improved energy efficiency, fire safety, accessibility and seismic resistance and the addition of 18 American Disabilities Act units.
Walsh Construction is the general contractor under an all-union project labor agreement. The renovation is expected to create approximately 290 union construction jobs and 180,00 work hours over a 22-month construction period.
The AFL-CIO Housing and Investment Trust (HIT) is providing $26 million of financing for the project using union pension funds. The HIT is a socially responsible fixed-income investment company with a focus on affordable housing and other projects that generate employment for union members in the construction trades and related industries.
The ULRA, with the help of nonprofit consultant Housing Development Center, also assembled funding to preserve long-term affordability for the low-income seniors at the manor — projected to be worth $144 million over 40 years. The average annual income of tenants at Westmoreland Union Manor is $18,500. Residents are being temporarily relocated during portions of the construction, with no increase in rent.
“The renovation will improve the lives of building residents and prepare the property for decades of additional service,” said ULRA Board President Larry Kirkland, Earl’s son. “Just as important, the funding resources we’ve secured will enable these 300 homes to remain affordable to very-low-income residents for the next 40 years.”
Other key funding partners include Oregon Housing and Community Services, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, PNC Financial Services Group, and J.P. Morgan Chase.
The ULRA and its entities operate six affordable senior housing projects in Oregon and Vancouver, Washington: Kirkland Union Manors I, II, and III in Southeast Portland, Marshall Union Manor in Northwest Portland, and Kirkland Union Plaza in Vancouver. Westmoreland Union Manor was the first project developed by ULRA.