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Portland has Big Housing Problems. Brett Schulz is Thinking Small

MEET THIS CHANGEMAKER: Brett Schulz. Brett develops projects for non-profit organizations and affordable housing complexes. He is currently working on two major projects: 1) Jolene’s Cousin Series – a part SRO/part market-rate apartment building with commercial space below that has been funded by private donors and crowdsourced funds, and 2) A Homeownership program partnership with Portland Community Reinvestment Initiatives (PCRI) that helps first-time home owners stay in their neighborhoods, from which they had been formerly displaced.

WHY HE’S AWESOME: Developers built 7,300 units of new housing in Portland in 2017 — more than any of the past 15 years. But most of those units are luxury apartments with high price tags. Brett Schulz’s goal is to build housing that’s affordable to low-income Portlanders. To do it, he’s thinking small. Really small.

One example is Jolene’s First Cousin, an 11-unit development in the Creston-Kenilworth neighborhood and the first of three Single-Room Occupancy projects that Schulz has in the works.

Single-Room Occupancy units are smaller than a studio apartment. They often don’t have a kitchen or amenities like a washer and dryer — and that helps make them affordable to low-income renters.

FUN FACT: Brett Schulz began sharing office space with Guerrilla Development, the builder behind Jolene’s first cousin, six years ago. That’s how he became their architect of choice for creating alternative types of housing.

QUOTABLE: We are in a crisis right now regarding housing and homelessness, and I just want to do anything I can to help alleviate those who are suffering.”

HOW TO GET INVOLVED: Interested in crowdsourcing? If you want to invest in the next Jolene’s Cousin building, visit Guerrilla Development’s website to receive their emails and be the first to know about the next opportunity.