A supportive, long-term, affordable housing community for female-headed families

The Maya Angelou Community Initiative is a grassroots redevelopment plan to provide long-term affordable housing to female-headed households in Portland, Oregon. The initiative renovated a deteriorated apartment complex to provide 42 units of sustainable, long-term, low-income housing primarily for households headed by single females. Supported by the nonprofit Housing Our Families, the initiative has successfully redeveloped an underused section of Portland’s troubled Boise neighborhood through an exceptionally democratic and inclusive process engaging all members of the community.

The Maya Angelou Community Initiative was developed by Housing Our Families, originally a feminist development group that helps provide housing and services for low-income single parent (usually female) families.

1995 Selection Committee

Evidence of the initiative’s success include increased home ownership, reduced crime, significant growth of community organizations, and a greater sense of community. Ongoing programs continue to make improvements to the neighborhood and support economic growth in the area.