The Mental Health Association of Portland provides transitional housing for people in early recovery from alcoholism and addiction using the Oxford House model.Oxford House has leased privately owned homes nationwide on behalf of people in early recovery from addiction, alcoholism, and mental illness since 1975. Prospective residents self-refer and are selected by current residents. Residents maintain their self-defined program of recovery for the duration. Congregate living and collective purchasing keep rents very low – about $400 per month including utilities and staple foods. Average stay is 7.5 months.
The organization purchased Oxford House Hendrick in Vancouver, Washington in December 2019, and plan to purchase at least four more houses in 2020. There are over 200 Oxford Houses operating in the Portland Metro area housing over 1500 people.
Need sober housing? Here is the Oxford House Vacancy Directory.
The Mental Health Association of Portland had thoroughly reviewed recovery housing efforts in Oregon and found abundant research showing Oxford House to be the most effective and least expensive model. The organization sought assistance from conventional and specialty lenders, CDCs, public housing experts or housing agencies. Each were unavailable or unable to help. With urgency, the organization successfully fundraised from private donors to buy the building, and make major repairs + remodeling.
- Fundraising duration – 33 days
- Fundraising partner – Community Foundation for Southwest Washington
- Donor – donor advised fund
- Funds raised – $395,000
- Purchase price – $325,000 (Louisa Friend Bldg. $74,000,000)
- Price per resident – $50,000 (Louisa Friend Bldg. roughly $250,000)
- Price per square foot – $107 (Louisa Friend Bldg. $411)
Based on our experience, we urge all public housing agencies to invest – as we have – in the Oxford House model.
The Oxford House model is almost infinitely replicable. Housing stock is readily available – especially in suburban areas and smaller towns which can’t muster large housing projects.
Oxford Houses are residences – not facilities; residents are not tenants, but have special protections from the Fair Housing Act & in state law. NIMBY issues are historically almost non-existent.
Private donors were enthusiastic and generous about the Oxford House model, giving beyond the initial request to assure Oxford House Hendrick will remain both open and self-sufficient.