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Honored with a Building for Black Veterans in Portland

New low-income housing complex in the Northeast

From Right to Left: Robin Carter, Paul Knauls and Lille Knauls


The Paul & Geneva Knauls Building is located in Portland’s King neighborhood it is collaboration between Community Development Partners and Self Enhancement Inc. (SEI).


The building is one of first to open within the shared Alberta Alive vision. Paul and Geneva opened and operated numerous businesses that served Portland's Black community. The Knauls ran Geneva's Restaurant and Lounge, The Cotton Club, Paul's Cocktails and Geneva's Shear Perfection.


The Knauls Building provides 31 units for Veterans, including 25 VASH housing voucher units and services provided by Do Good Multnomah. The building is two blocks from each other on NE Alberta Street, the historic heart of Portland’s African American community.


Units will provide affordable rental housing to low-income persons with a median income of no greater than 60% of the area median income. Twenty-five of the units come with Veteran Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) vouchers attached. The projects create a place that supports the African American community and Veterans in a permanently affordable community, incorporating housing and robust service offerings.


SEI will oversee on-site resident services at both buildings with a culturally responsive services plan tailored to the resident population. This includes on-site events as well as SEI’s many school-based and after school programs, located at their Center for Self Enhancement, less than a mile from the project sites. Additionally, SEI offers adult programming in parenting, financial management/budgeting, matched savings, credit repair, and home ownership. In addition to SEI’s programming, residents of The Knauls Building will also receive wraparound supportive services from Do Good Multnomah—a nonprofit organization that partners with the community to providing housing, emergency shelter, and services to houseless Veterans.


Their emphasis includes relationship building, one-on-one engagement, supportive services, and direct community participation.

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