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New phase of Greeley Heights subdivision

The long waiting list for homes in Warm Springs will be just a little shorter in the fall, when the first phase of a new housing project is completed.

Greeley Heights Subdivision Phase VI will be located above the Warm Springs Community Center, not far from the construction site for the new Warm Springs K-8 Academy, according to Sharon Jones, housing manager for the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs.

Six homes will be constructed in the first phase, with a total of 35 to be constructed over the next two and one-half years, at a cost of nearly $8 million.

The tribes applied for and were awarded $868,000 from the Oregon Housing and Community Services Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program.

"We applied for and received the tax credit, which is similar to a grant," she said, adding that there will be investors for the project, which will have stringent compliance requirements.

At the beginning of January, Jones said there were about 150 people on the waiting list — some homeless, but most living in crowded conditions with other family members, which has a negative effect on other tribal housing.

"When we have overcrowded conditions, it really takes a toll on the wear and tear of the unit," she said.

The new low-income housing, as well as a community facility, will be located on about 35 acres, near Bear Drive and Juniper Street. The houses will have three, four and five bedrooms, and range from 1,400 square feet (three bedrooms and two baths) to 1,500 (four bedrooms and two baths), to 1,600 square feet (five bedrooms and two and one-half baths).

"The majority of the units are going to be set aside for (people earning) 60 percent of median income," said Jones. "Three will be for (people earning) 30 percent."

The preliminary estimate is that the monthly payments on the homes will range from $225 to $500. "The most expensive will be $500 for five bedrooms at 60 percent," she said.

"When we looked at the waiting list, we noticed a trend that families are getting bigger; multifamilies are living in one unit," said Jones. "We have a lot of families on our waiting list between homeowners and rentals. It'll put a big dent in it."

As part of the agreement with the future homeowners, for the first 10 years, they will pay "rent" on the homes. "Once their years of service are recovered from the rent, we'll convert them from rental to homeowner if they comply with investors' rules and regulations," she said.

The 35 homes to be constructed will be added to the tribes' current inventory of 319 rental and homeowner units.

"We are going to start infrastructure probably in May, and the first phase of construction — six units — probably in July, and complete by Nov. 1," said Jones.

The second phase should be completed by Feb. 1, 2015, and the final phase by June 1, 2016.

The tribes are working with Travois Inc., of Kansas City, which will design the units and assist the tribes in working with the tax credits.

"We're excited," said Jones. "We're hoping if it's successful, we can apply for future ones."

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