PORTLAND-City officials will celebrate tomorrow the opening of their first affordable apartment acquisition and renovation under its 1998 Housing Preservation Ordinance.

The building, at 333 Oak St., is 90-units of affordable housing for very low-income individuals, primarily elderly and disabled, many receiving Section 8 assistance. When owners of 333 Oak adopted to sell the low-income apartment building in 1998, it was in danger of being sold to developers looking to convert it to market rate apartments or high-end condominiums. The city, through its development arm, the Portland Development Commission, concurrently purchased the building and passed a Housing Preservation Ordinance. The Oak Street building is the first building to be purchased and rehabbed under the ordinance.

The 10-story structure was built in 1908 and used primarily as office and retail space until 1978, when the second through tenth floors were converted to low-income apartments. Opening ceremonies will take place at 1 p.m. tomorrow in front of the building. City Commissioner Erik Sten will be on hand for the city, accompanied by representatives of Northwest Housing Alternatives and Columbia Housing Partners, who were selected to acquire, rehabilitate and manage the building.

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