In the past episode of Matter of Fact with Soledad O'Brien aired on February 4, 2024, the historical displacement of Albina, a once-thriving predominantly Black community in Portland during the 1960s urban renewal, was discussed. The city's actions led to the forced sale and demolition of homes and businesses, resulting in significant disruption to the neighborhood. Albina Vision Trust, a nonprofit organization led by Executive Director Winta Yohannes, emerged with an ambitious plan to rebuild the community.
Albina Vision Trust aims to revitalize the historically significant Albina neighborhood by developing 94 acres of land over the next 50 years. The plan encompasses the creation of parks, high-rises, community spaces, and small businesses, with an emphasis on providing affordable housing. LEVER is actively involved in this endeavor, with Principal Chandra Robinson leading the build.
During the episode, viewers were introduced to Albina One, a 94-unit affordable housing complex in North Portland, designed by LEVER as part of the Albina Vision Community Investment Plan. This project serves as a tangible manifestation of the broader initiative to rejuvenate the neighborhood. Principal Chandra Robinson underscored the importance of good design in addressing the community's needs, emphasizing the significance of creating spaces that effectively cater to and enhance the lives of the residents.