We’re Here to Serve Students

At College Housing Northwest (CHNW) that mission drives every decision we make and every project we pursue. As a not-for-profit organization, we provide housing and services for post-secondary students in the downtown Portland and Corvallis areas.

What we really do is provide convenient, affordable student housing at below-market rental rates. Our properties are clean and comfortable, with controlled key fob access and a wide range of support services – from free campus shuttles to counseling referrals to financial guidance. All our buildings have on-site resident ambassadors and council representatives, plus student-directed activities, events, forums, services and resources.

At CHNW, we offer more than just a safe and affordable place to live; we create dynamic living and learning environments that help students to achieve their goals – whether that means academic brilliance or personal growth (or a combination of the two).  Our staff members are also engaged in a process of professional achievement, personal empowerment and daily student support.

Current CHNW Executive Director, David Garnand talks with Comcast Newsmakers’ host Ken Ackerman about the College Housing Northwest.

Stan Amy, Founding Member of Portland Student Services discusses the history of College Housing Northwest.

Our Roots Run Deep

Created by students, for students, CHNW grew out of a 1969 urban studies class at Portland State University, which was examining the need for student housing near the University’s downtown campus. At that time, the Oregon Legislature considered PSU to be a commuter campus, so the enabling legislation didn’t allow for student housing. Students from the urban studies class, however, saw a chance to fill the significant student housing gap.

The Portland Development Commission had recently acquired several old apartment buildings for the benefit of PSU. The University believed it was beginning a period of aggressive growth and considered the land on which these apartment buildings were located to be ideal for academic expansion. When the expansion funds failed to materialize, the buildings were slated for demolition and the land was earmarked for city parking.

The students had a better idea. They incorporated what would later become CHNW, convincing the University and the State Board of Higher Education to allow them to operate the buildings as independent student housing. With two $5,000 loans, the organization selected a board of directors and elected a president. The buildings are now recognized as a permanent part of the PSU campus.

In 1972, CHNW opened a brand-new, 221-unit high-rise apartment building in Portland’s Goose Hollow neighborhood to expand the housing stock at PSU. The building, known as Goose Hollow Tower, was funded through a loan from the Department of Housing and Urban Development and represented CHNW’s first major asset. In 1988, CHNW finalized a lease-equity acquisition arrangement with the Housing Authority of Portland to renovate and manage three apartment buildings located near the PSU campus. In 1999, Goose Hollow Plaza was constructed. Since then, CHNW has operated seven facilities (485 units) in Portland and, in 2006, opened The Gem on the Oregon State University campus, a 231-unit facility renovated by CHNW and owned by the University.

Today, CHNW has affiliation and marketing arrangements with universities and colleges in Portland, Oregon and Corvallis, Oregon. These respected institutions include Portland State University, Oregon State University, Pacific Northwest College of Art, and Portland Community College.

We’re proud of our roots and look forward to an even brighter future for students, staff and the institutions we serve.