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OHCS and DELC Announce Partnership to Increase Early Education Facilities at Affordable Housing Developments

KTVZ 21, Bend, Ore. news story.
North Coast Citizen, Tillamook, Ore. news story.
Cannon Beach Gazette, Tillamook, Ore. news story.
St. Helens Chronicle, St. Helens, Ore. news story.

Delia Hernández, OHCS,
Christina Cortez-Bannick, DELC,


OHCS and DELC Announce Partnership to Increase Early Education Facilities at Affordable Housing Developments
Aims to create or preserve 600 ECE slots in Oregon

SALEM, ORE. (July 6, 2023) – Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS) and the Oregon Early Learning Division, soon to be the Department of Early Learning and Care (DELC), announce a groundbreaking partnership to address the pressing need for quality Early Care and Education (ECE) facilities and affordable housing in the state. This partnership, known as Build Up Oregon, is partially supported by a $10 million investment, allocated by House Bill 5011, and it will support co-locating ECE facilities and affordable housing.

Build Up Oregon aims to create or preserve 600 ECE slots by supporting co-location with affordable housing developments. Increased ECE slots will help low-income families access early education, provide economic development opportunities and strengthen communities.

Build Up Oregon will use the expertise of Craft3 and three other Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) – Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF), Micro Enterprise Services of Oregon and Network for Oregon Affordable Housing – to meet the challenge of supporting both ECE and affordable housing. This collaboration sets out to develop and test new models for how ECE operators and affordable housing developers work together. The CDFIs are currently beginning a six- to nine-month planning phase to develop program specifics and determine how to best to support ECE providers in Oregon.

Highlighting the importance of this initiative, OHCS Director Andrea Bell said, “This partnership exemplifies our commitment to our core values, supporting Oregonians by providing safe, stable and affordable housing and prioritizing the well-being and development of Oregon’s children. Furthermore, OHCS thanks the advocacy and partnership of state and federal legislators.”

The grant agreement between OHCS and Craft3 was signed on Friday, June 23, marking the official commencement of this initiative. Once the planning phase is complete, Build Up Oregon is intended to:

  • Provide technical assistance to ECE operators and affordable housing developers to ensure a strong and beneficial union between the two disciplines.
  • Broker relationships between ECE providers and housing developers to identify potential collaboration opportunities and facilitate direct communication.
  • Offer financial support, including grants and loans, to ECE providers and developers seeking to build or expand operations within or adjacent to affordable housing developments.

“The advantages for families of bringing affordable housing and early learning together are clear,” said DELC Director Alyssa Chatterjee. “This partnership between OHCS and DELC is an important example of how housing policies can have a direct effect on the well-being of young children and families and, as we become a new agency, we are excited to continue bringing this joint expertise to the work ahead.” To stay informed and receive updates on this transformative initiative, visit the OHCS website or DELC website. Regular updates will be provided through emailed Technical Advisories.

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