Groundbreaking on Affordable Housing in Cully

Fresh off the success of opening the historic Nesika Illahee affordable housing development, the Native American Youth and Family Center (NAYA) has again partnered with Community Development Partners (CDP) and the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians (Siletz Tribe) to break ground on its latest project, Mamook Tokatee.

Mamook Tokatee, a Chinook Wawa phrase for “make beautiful,” will create 56 units of affordable housing in Portland’s Cully Neighborhood when completed. Mamook Tokatee will be the second time the partners have come together to construct affordable housing for tribal members, Native families, and others in Portland using funding from the Siletz Tribe’s Indian Housing Block Grant. Those funds have generally been used for affordable housing activities within reservation lands and allow for certain units to be reserved for Native tenants. Tribal funding will supplement other conventional sources of funding. 

Mamook Tokatee is also NAYA’s second affordable housing project in Cully co-owned and co-developed with CDP.

Eric Paine, chief executive officer of CDP, the project’s developer, says, “CDP has had a wonderful experience partnering with NAYA and the Siletz Tribe on our second joint development focused on providing high-quality affordable housing to urban Native Americans and Siletz tribal members. Like our first project, Nesika Illahee, we’ve taken multiple complex funding sources and woven them together in order to create a model tailored to the Native family and artist population that will be calling the community home.”

Intended to create affordable housing for Native Americans and artists who have been pushed out of Portland due to skyrocketing housing costs, Mamook Tokatee will target Siletz tribal members in Portland and the wider urban Native population particularly hard hit by the Portland housing crisis. A recent report by the Portland Housing Bureau found that no neighborhoods in Portland have one- or two-bedroom apartments affordable enough for the average Native American household that earns $29,859 a year.

Adhering to Earth Advantage green building standards, the development was designed by Carleton Hart Architecture and construction by LMC Construction is currently underway at Northeast 42nd Avenue and Going. In addition to 56 dwelling units, Mamook Tokatee will also offer a community art studio, a courtyard, and public art by local Natives.

“The Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians is very pleased to again partner with NAYA and CDP on Mamook Tokatee,” says Siletz Tribal Chairman Delores Pigsley. “It has long been a goal to provide much needed affordable housing for tribal members in the Portland Metro Area. We appreciate the collaboration and look forward to another amazing project.”

Where Nesika Illahee offers additional on-site services to families in recovery, Mamook Tokatee’s focus will bring much needed affordable housing to the Cully neighborhood with a focus on the Native community and artists. Both affordable housing properties are located on 42nd Avenue and near NAYA. 

“Artists have always been revered culture keepers in Native communities,” says Paul Lumley, NAYA executive director. “The impact of gentrification on the Native community in Portland has been devastating. With their absence, opportunities for our youth and the broader community to see their culture represented here have been diminished. Mamook Tokatee is a step in the right direction to demonstrate that Native culture and artists still have a place in Portland.”

Construction is expected to take over a year and leasing to begin in late 2021.

More information can be found at