City receives housing grant extension
The City of Wilsonville has received an extension on the $62,500 grant awarded by Metro last year to create an equitable housing strategic plan.
The grant was aimed to fund the research, development and adoption of a plan to begin implementation of a strategy for creating more affordable housing, with a special focus in the existing Town Center area and the Frog Pond area that is being planned for new development.
The grant's extension comes after the death of Jon Gail earlier this year, the City's former community relations coordinator who was spearheading the grant project.
"The city received an authorized yearlong extension from Metro. Staff will pick it up again in July 2018. We will complete the work and the Equitable Housing Strategic Plan by December 2019," said Chris Neamtzu, planning director.
According to Neamtzu, the City will continue moving forward with its master plan to develop the 500-acre Frog Pond area on the city's east side when work resumes on the equitable housing plan.
"We did a complete, highly detailed master plan with land use, transportation and infrastructure analysis; open space, parks, trails and multi-modal network. The council adopted that July '17," Neamtzu said. "The housing that is going into Frog Pond West will be all single family detached homes. The work that will be done on the equitable housing grant won't be able to reach back and modify that west neighborhood to the effect of that study."
Neamtzu said he is not sure who from his office will take up leadership of the project, but he's confident whoever it may be will work hand-in-hand with a consultant the City plans to bring in, as well as a citizen steering committee yet to be formed.
"In the middle of 2018 we're shooting to get that project off the ground, hire and engage a consultant and put together a committee to prepare that work into 2019. At that point there will be recommendations for implementation. One of the expectations of the grant is you actually adopt something to implement aspects of the project, so again, not having the study completed we're not sure what we'll be doing quite yet," he said.