The Heights at Columbia Knoll - Portland, OR

Room Type Monthly Range* (USD)
1 Bedroom


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2 Bedrooms


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* Published prices are provided by the providers themselves, not by reviewers. Actual quotes may differ from what is presented based on timing and services required.

  • Minimum Age of Accepted Residents
  • Activities Onsite
  • Indoor Common Areas
  • Meals Provided
  • Aging in Place
  • Nurses on Staff
  • Complimentary Transportation
  • Activities Offsite
  • Outdoor Common Areas
  • Pets Allowed
  • No Smoking Allowed in Private Areas Indoors
  • No Smoking Allowed in Public Areas Indoors
  • Hospice Available
  • Respite Available
  • Resident Parking Available
  • Male Residents Accepted
  • Female Residents Only
  • Homecare Onsite

Customer Reviews

Bedbugs in too many apartments!

The male manager of this building slipped and told someone the Heights now has 29 units infected with bedbugs. People wait up to 2 months for the exterminator. Meanwhile the bedbugs breed. This is a health hazard. People here are elderly and many are frail. Moving is expensive and all the residents are low-income. I am posting this review anonymously because I'm concerned about retaliation toward my mother-in-law.


This is a beautiful property that has been plagued with management issues. If you consider living here, I strongly advise you NOT to buy your basic cable services through the building. They charge $45 and you receive no credit on your regular Comcast bill. When I told them I could get a better deal going directly through Comcast, I was told they would turn off my services through the building's cable box, if I 'opted out' of their basic cable charge. I am in the process of contacting senior management to resolve this. There is no legitimate reason I should pay $45 to the building, without this amount being credited on my Comcast bill (for phone, Internet, DVR and modem.) Caveat emptor.

Educate Yourself Before Getting Sucked In

The application process at The Heights at Columbia Knoll was exhausting and frustrating. It took over two and a half months to get approved. After speaking with the tenants and local senior advocates along with reflecting on the way we were treated by the management, we concluded this was not the place for us. The staff is not properly trained and cannot answer basic questions. The Compliance Manager is arrogant and lacks any/all compassion. It's basically "his way or the highway" and there is no consideration extended to the prospective tenant whatsoever. Needless to say, he should not be dealing with seniors nor the public at all for that matter.
If you're considering the Life Enrichment Program....don't, the food is awful. Just sample it or speak with the tenants that were fooled into purchasing it as part of their lease agreement.

On a positive note, the apartments are nice (small but nice) and given the reasonable price this place should be full with a waiting list but alas it isn't, perhaps you should ask yourself why.

Do NOT move in here, if you value your nutrition or your palate!

The food is actually execrable!

Tonight, for instance: can you imagine anyone combining shrimp scampi with brussel sprouts?
...and then, the scampi consists of overcooked shrimps, butter substitute and rancid garlic...and the brussel sprouts were, of course, too old and over-cooked. These were served with dry, mealy mashed potatoes.

Twice a week we get some kind of ground beef that is so over-cooked (and over-salted) that it takes a chef knife to cut it!

The beef, pork and chicken are all the oldest and poorest cuts legally available.

The 'fresh harvest vegies', better known as frozen peas, carrots, corn and green beans have lately been enhanced with a soupcon of soap!

The daily soups are last night's left-overs scraped into a pot with an addition of the cheapest soup base currently available. (Every now and then, perhaps once a month, there is a fabulous creme soup...there must be a 'soup fairy' who occasionally drops by in the dark of night!)

All summer long, here in the foodie capitol of the country, there have been NO fresh berries, peaches, plums or lettuce, cukes, beets, carrots or squashes.

All to say, they are trying to make their bottom line by cutting all costs possible in the kitchen.

Financial Manager receives a F rating.

We told financial manager our monthly income (which turned out to be net because of Medicare Part A taken out before we see bank direct deposit0. When we presented SS award letters and another award letter for prove of income, each plainly stated gross income (as well as net) with us sitting right in front of financial manager, he could have done the math is his head, realized we had too much gross income to qualify for their program and sent us on our way. Instead he assured us everything looked good, took application money and said it might take 10 (I figured business days) to have everything cleared by gov't entity involved with this program. We also told him us had given notice where we were living and had to move by end of July. We waited, heard nothing for over 10 business days then started calling and leaving voice messages on his personal business phone or email daily. No response. July 23nd (one week from end of month, we physically presented ourselves at his office. He told us then, that we didn't qualify. When we asked why he hadn't contacted us, first he denied our attempts to reach him, said we should have gotten a letter (which we didn't), then said he got a couple of our (can't remember adjective he used but something like frantic or maybe hysterical) messages. Our messages were polite, direct and expressed our anxiety about his lack of response to our serious situation and deadline but, they were not hysterical. It should have been a clue to him when we kept trying to reach him, that we didn't know the application outcome. All he needed to do was take 5 minutes or less to call us and let us know. Instead he left us hanging. No apology. Very clear that once he saw we didn't qualify, he could care less about us. No empathy, compassion or professional courtesy. Then, I found out from a friend that a similar thing happened to her and her husband regarding this financial manager not long before our experience. He has no business being in a position of serving people. He obviously doesn't care about people as humans. I sincerely hope he learns to treat people better or gets in a situation where he is on the receiving end of such carelessness and thoughtlessness to bring the impact home to him.

Go elsewhere unless you love bedbugs and horrible managers

Do you like BEDBUGS? Then come to Columbia Heights. Eight apartments now have bedbugs, probably spread by the cleaning staff when they vacuum.

What has management done about it? Nothing! Oh, they HAVE told people that they have to get rid of their mattresses and buy new ones with their own money--in spite of the fact that the bedbugs are being spread by staff.

The new management is so horrible that they've alienated almost everyone. They've changed rules that made the place livable, they're planning to shut off all entrances except for the front door, which means that older people are going to have to walk a long way to get around the building from parking to the door. The managers gossip about people, accuse people of things they didn't do, and the male manager when so far as to put his hands on a resident and force her out of the dining room because he thought she shouldn't be in there with a urine bag. They've been here about 9 months, and residents have started to call lawyers and HUD to try to get some help and protection against the managers.

And the low prices of the apartments is a thing of the past, because all new residents MUST buy into the Services program (the same services that are spreading the bedbugs). So now, instead of renting an apartment for $850, you MUST buy the Services for an additional $600 a month. This place no longer offers value, and it doesn't buy friendliness or respect from the management, either.

A lot of people are afraid to complain because they know the management targets those who do.

A Place For Mom needs to stop recommending this place.

Rate plan is high

The lifeplan is high. Some of the services I would like them to offer without having to pay the full amount. You either pay the full amount to receive the services or not.

It's a pleasant place to live overall.

I think it's a pleasant place to live overall. This is an independent living facility but most of the people seem to be 1000 years old. It can be kind of depressing in the hallway. It would be a lot nicer if they kept the carpet in the hallways clean. Other than that, it has been a good experience. The staff is very friendly. They are helpful. I can't rate the care services because it is not applicable.

Was once a great place to live

The current "director" is awful. Food is terrible and concierge is the worst. No help at all.

Lots of changes, parking issue, needs paint in halls. Lots of staff turnover. Price is right food is awful

Nice visit

I think it is a nice place. We visited early December and enjoyed our time there.

very friendly

I have lived here at The Heights at Columbia Knoll for almost two months, and I am still getting acclimated. Unfortunately my husband passed away shortly after I got settled in, so I have been somewhat keeping to myself and not able to get to know the facility too well, but my overall impression of it has been decent. The people are very friendly.

Keep looking

If you are looking for a place to live for yourself or your loved one, keep looking. This is not a good place to be. The residents are great, but management is horrible! Stay away.

I wouldn't not recommend THe Heights

As of today we no longer have driver or a real manager and all good staff have left within weeks of each other. The stand in manager is rude and condescending and has been caught in several lies. Management is some of the worse I've ever experienced in my 76 years of living. I moved here from a wonderful retirement home when money started to get low. So far.. It has not been worth it . Unless you want to feel like your living in an insane asylum keep looking. Strange bunch of people. Wish I could leave but am stuck for now.


There are several issues with this place.
1. It's dirty. Not well kept up
2. It's overpriced for the quality/quantity you receive for the money
3. There are people here who clearly belong in assisted living. My neighbor used to get up at all times throughout the night, naked and urinate in the halls and on lobby furniture
4. We are cash cows. That's it.
5. Food is getting worse
6. High staff turnover
7. No respect from the managers
8. Bad location
9. Always changing the rules on us
10. Constantly losing checks and rent payments then handing out eviction notices when it's the not the residents fault!


I wanted to love this place. I had such high hopes. The current director Lady is unpleasant and the food is unpalatable.

Management needs training

I would rate the Columbia knoll a zero but I am required to give at least a half of a star. Like other reviewers have mentioned this community and it's staff are nice to you on your initial visit but DO NOT BE DECEIVED..I moved in a month ago and feel that I made a huge mistake..I should have taken into consideration the many negative reviews before signing a lease with this facility..

Unethical business practices

My mom toured recently and the salesman pressured her into handing over a check to "hold an apartment". He said that if she changed her mind within 3 days then she would receive her money back.well, she came back an hour later only to be told that the company policy allows them to cash the check and issue her a refund in 60 days. When we started to ask questions the leasing guy just slammed his office door on us.DO NOT GIVE THEM MONEY!!then While sitting for lunch a tenant told us horror stories about living here. I won't go into detail but a group of them are planning on reaching out to Oregon Housing and elders in action. We would rather pay a higher price for a better environment. You get what you pay for.

Dump in disguise

I am stunned at the unprofessionalism of this facility and I'm writing this review in hopes of being as informative as possible. Hoping that other families will do their research before considering this place. Our experience was excellent from 2009-2012, started getting rocky around early 2013 and now in 2014 everything has been an absolute nightmare. We are moving my mother to a new facility as soon as her lease is up.

A few days ago a close family friend (who also happens to be a nurse at Providence) stopped by this place to visit my mother.
That same evening my friend calls to say that after she left from her visit she immediately went home to shower. Its filthy!
This once beautiful building we were proud to call mom's home has went downhill fast.It's a dump in disguise and the new management company,Independent Living (S.H.A.G) who is based out of puyallup, WA is to blame.
Read about the petition to boycott against this company here:


Or check out their "F" rating with the better business bureau:


We've been here since 2009 and we have seen The Heights change management at least 7 times. The food quality is now comparable to an elementary school. My mother was served curry on three nights one week and top ramen for lunch. Yuck.

The staff appear to be friendly but that is not to be taken seriously! Run away fast!!!!
Any staff member of value has left. The office is full of "corporate" thugs. A seedy group who don't know any of the residence or family members by name. Complaints are abundant here and management could care less. There are several people who heavily smoke in their apartments causing the halls, vents, and surrounding apartments to fill up with smoke. My mother is suffering from COPD and management says there's nothing they can do!!!

The only positive thing I have to comment on is the landscaping and the location for us. Some may find this location undesirable as it is on 82nd and prostitutes are known to roam up and down the street but my mom does not ride public transportation nor does she go out alone so this has little affect on us. The cops are constantly in and out of the complex since the surrounding apartments are also low income and full of unpleasant characters you will eventually encounter.

The low price will be the determining factor for some, but I would seriously think it over before deciding to move your loved one here.

Update: as of 9/17 the management group has issued a letter to all who live here. Turns out the current community manager has resigned.

THIRTY DAYS at The Heights At Columbia Knoll

Management and staff are forthright they strive to please the client. (ME) The Full Package is overpriced due to the lack of quality in the food provided. $600 a month for two meals a day if very overpriced. They offer other incentives but I have never been approached to receive the other benefits. Apartment cleaning changing linens a bus ride to the doctors and RX runs are strictly controlled. You must do it on their day, not the doctors day for your appointment. If you are running out of RX-medications you call a cab, $22.00 each way or, do with out. They don't plan or seem to care when it comes to the feeding portion of their responsibilities. My advise is DO NOT BUY THE PACKAGE for $600.00 USD. Skimpy servings no gravy!"Oh we are still out of that"! I did not read your guidelines for this evaluation. I am telling you how it really is. Apartments are nice, secure, but small.

In an inconvenient area of ...

In an inconvenient area of Portland for me. Too far away from family.

There are a few issues here. They hav...

There are a few issues here. They have rules, but they don't enforce the rules for everyone. There are residents that have been here since it opened, and with all of the staff turn-over, the rules always change. With that, they let the residents that have been there longest stick to the old rules, but then enforce the new rules on the new residents. It's bothersome because the rules pertain to things like bringing your dog, or putting pots of flowers on your balcony.

They have switched management companies several times, and the rules get changed every time.

They have a lot of "empties", and it's probably because the lobby is clean, but everything else is filthy.

There are a lot of really nice people here, and I've made some really nice friends. However, I would say that there are a lot of residents that shouldn't be here, and really need assisted living.

Great Price!

My loved ones live here, and so far, it seems to be working out well. They provide housekeeping twice a week, and when we were there, everything looked very clean and tidy, so they must do a good job at that. I know that all of the residents recieve a monthly calendar of all the activities, and when I was there, I was able to see the different social gatherings and things going on. Their price is also much better than some of the others. Here, you are able to get a two bedroom two bath apartment for the same price as a closet at some other communities!

Looked very nice

I toured this community when I was looking into senior apartments. The grounds here are absolutely beautiful, and it is located in a very nice area. It's very easy to get to the airport, and located near a light rail station, which makes getting around very convenient. The facility itself is very nice looking as well. It was a bit more expensive than what I was interested in, however.

Looked excellent for low income I d...

Looked excellent for low income I didn't qualify.

From the Community

The Heights at Columbia Knoll offers affordable senior housing to those 62 years of age or older. We are located on 9 acres on site of the historic Shriners Hospital and next to the Grotto. We offer services and amenities such as meals, housekeeping, activities and transportation. Excellent customer service for Portland’s finest residents our seniors. Residents with a green thumb are encouraged to engage in personal gardening projects at their discretion through the community green room.