Daily Astorian | Lyra Fontaine
The Cannon Beach City Council has adopted the city’s first strategic plan, though some residents called for the council to wait another month to allow for more community input.
“I am very proud of the council and staff and the amount of dedication and work they put into this,” City Manager Brant Kucera said after last Tuesday’s vote. “It’s the foundation we’re going to need to move forward as a community. There is no good reason to delay this.”
The plan, a five-year roadmap for the city that will be revisited every two years, is a way to “align our human resources with our budgetary resources to ensure that these priorities get done,” he said.
The city’s top focus is affordable housing, with goals that include adding 25 units by 2018. Officials also prioritized infrastructure planning and maintenance, emergency management, relationship with the community and effective government.
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Check out this project The Seattle Times put together called "Under Our Skin", a discussion on how multi-layered and complex race is, and how a newsroom can do better navigating the terrain.
"Discussions about race, inclusiveness and sensitivity clearly aren’t new. They can leave us feeling depleted and wondering whether anything has really changed. But we believe the personal reflections and stories from the people who participated in this project will inspire all of us to think and talk about these issues in a deeper way. For those who freeze up at the prospect of talking about race, we hope this project will help break the ice. For those who tend to take sides right away when the issue of race comes up, we hope Under Our Skin will challenge assumptions and build common ground"
With the influx of construction laborers and electricians working on Facebook’s third data center, Prineville’s rental vacancy rate is near 0 percent. That means that there are very few, if any, properties available for rent at any given time.
The city planning commission recently voted to move forward with a proposal to convert an old elementary school into housing. The former classrooms of Ochoco Elementary School would become 29 apartments with one, two or three bedrooms that would rent for less than $600 per month. The school’s gym, cafeteria and open spaces may also become community resource centers.
The low-cost sale of the properties makes it economically feasible for developers to build apartments with below-market rents.
Councillors also voted to help fund more than 150 new affordable housing units to the tune of $1.5 million. The money comes from an affordable housing fee on all new permits and construction.
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A telling piece from Oregon Coast Today about how a popular business in Lincoln County, OR is grappling with the lack of affordable housing.
"When I discovered the Oregon Coast, I fell in love with it for two reasons. One was the beauty, of course. Rain. Shine. Fog. Wind. The towering grand pines, the thunder of the ocean, the slow pace. From day one, I was absolutely smitten with the place. But there was something else, too. Here, I thought, was one of the last places in this country where a working class family could afford a home with a view of the ocean. And if not a view, certainly a home only a few blocks from the beach. I lived in southern Oregon at the time and spent every weekend camping on the coast, dreaming of the day when we’d figure out how to make it our home. As it turned out, our journey took us to Denver instead. But as many of you who have read my work know, we always said, ‘If we ever settle down, it will be on the Oregon Coast.’ Meanwhile, as the years floated by, I worried that the chance would pass us by. That we would wait too long and the world would discover the coast and we would no longer be able to afford it. In 2000, our chance to relocate finally came and we grabbed it.
Sixteen years later, I still count myself lucky to be here."
KTVZ News | Redmond, Ore.
Housing Works has announced that construction on Cook Crossing, a new 48-unit senior affordable apartment community in Redmond, is set to begin. The building site is located on a 1.3-acre parcel on Veterans Way, immediately to the west of the Lowe's home improvement store.
Once complete, the complex will include one- and two-bedroom apartments. Rent will range from approximately $450 for one bedroom and $550 for two bedroom apartments for income-qualified senior households.
The complex should be complete in early summer of 2017 and applications for residency will be available through EPIC Property Management in about April of 2017.
Housing Works Executive Director, and Oregon ON Voting Member, Tom Kemper states, “As rental rates have risen 50 percent throughout Central Oregon, the affordable housing crisis has been particularly harsh on our seniors, most of whom are on modest fixed incomes. The construction of Cook Crossing is one piece of the solution to this dire issue facing our communities in Central Oregon.”
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Bend Bulletin | Joseph Ditzler
Housing Works, the public housing authority for Central Oregon, plans on building 55 townhomes on 3 acres in northeast Bend near Ensworth Elementary School.
Construction could start in July with doors opening for tenants in May 2017, said Tom Kemper, Housing Works executive director.
The site consists of two lots kitty-corner from each other on NE Daggett Lane and NE Full Moon/Moonlight Drive. Moonlight Drive becomes Full Moon Drive south of Daggett. The project budget comes to nearly $13 million, Kemper said.
“It’s going to be a great project,” he said Monday. “There will be no way to know they’re affordable housing.”
The units will be restricted to tenants who earn 60 percent or less of the median family income in Deschutes County. Median family income for a family of four in the county is $59,700, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The income restriction is included in the deed.
Units will come in two-bedroom and three-bedroom configurations, Kemper said. Unit sizes will range from 945 to 1,185 square feet, he said. Jivanjee Circosta Architecture of Hillsboro drew up plans that call for 29 units on Moonlight Drive in nine buildings and 24 units on Daggett Lane in seven buildings. The complex includes play areas, two community rooms and 81 parking spots. The plans are under review by the Bend Community Development Department.
The Bend Bulletin
As residential development surges in Redmond, the city is working on an overdue update to its out-of-date affordable housing plan, written nine years ago.
According to Community Development Department records, 197 residential building permits were issued for new single-family homes last year — the most since 2007. Commercial building permits, with 15 issued for new construction, saw growth for the first time in eight years. And planning permit activity — which speaks to future growth — saw a 500 percent increase from 2014.
“Development is up, and it’s up significantly,” CDD Director Heather Richards said at a City Council work session last week, when she called 2015 “the first full year of development recovery in Redmond” since the recession.
The building permits reflect the economic health and growth of the community, Richards said. Meanwhile, planning permits, which encompass applications like zone change requests, land use variance requests and residential plan reviews, are a good indicator of future growth.
“A lot of (the planning activity) is master plan review that sets the stage for residential development,” Richards said last week. “But there’s also some site and design projects coming through.”
In 2015, according to CDD’s monthly activity reports, a month didn’t go by with fewer than three building permits issued for new construction on single-family dwellings. In January, for instance, three permits were issued — the year’s low point — and in April and December there were 26. Meanwhile two predevelopment applications for housing development master plans were submitted to the city’s planning department last year, along with several predevelopment applications for residential subdivisions.
The Redmond City Council gave its approval to one of the master plans — a 187-unit Hayden Homes housing development called Obsidian Trails — earlier this year. In March it OK’d the city’s annexation of 33 acres — its first annexation since 2009 — in preparation for another 240-unit development.
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MADRAS, OR -- The first of six homes built for agricultural workers in the Madras area is now finished. Housing Works, NeighborImpact and the Heart of Oregon Corps' Youth Build program have joined together to produce the affordable homes for lower income families.
Kelly Fisher, with Housing Works, tells KBND News the partnership began a couple of years ago. "We've done several homes with Youth Build over the past few years, and they had a grant and a need to have some projects available for their youth to work on. Initially, we had one lot available to start with in Madras, and then we worked with NeighborImpact to acquire some additional lots." Heart of Oregon provides young people the opportunity to work toward their high school diploma by building affordable housing in the community.
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