Cully is a primarily low-income and community of color neighborhood in NE Portland that has suffered the negative impacts of pollution and disinvestment. In 2010, three organizations in the neighborhood – Verde, Hacienda Community Development Corporation and Native American Youth and Family Center – established Living Cully: A Cully Ecodistrict to empower residents to make their community environmentally healthy and sustainable. Partnering with other community organizations, Living Cully transformed a former brownfield into a community farm and public park to offer a safe space for families to grow healthy food and youth to play.
Hacienda CDC used green building practices, including solar hot water heating, in rehabbing 108 housing units and earned the first in the nation LEED Silver certification for a multi-family affordable housing project. Living Cully is also creating workforce opportunities and job training for green building work. A recent collaboration with Portland State University produced anti-displacement strategies to keep investment in building a more sustainable Cully neighborhood from leading to gentrification.