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Metro bond makes its mark in in Old Town Beaverton, promising 54 apartments by the end of 2021.

COURTESY: REACH - The Metro bond-funded Mary Ann affordable housing, coming to Beaverton Old Town in 2021.

The first of the Metro Regional Affordable Housing Bond buildings broke ground on Friday, June 26, in Beaverton.

The Mary Ann will have 54 new affordable apartments in Old Town in Beaverton. The developer is REACH, which has built affordable housing for low-income families and individuals in the metropolitan region since 1982. The Mary Ann is REACH's first project in the City of Beaverton.

As is common in coronavirus times, the groundbreaking was shared virtually rather than attended in person by stakeholders.

REACH has been working with the City of Beaverton to identify a project in the city's growing downtown core to meet working families' needs. With the 2018 passing of the Metro Regional Affordable Housing Bond, Beaverton and Metro selected the Mary Ann as one of the first bond-funded projects, committing $3M.

"The Mary Ann groundbreaking is symbolic of the 3,900 homes that will be built using funds secured through the 2018 Regional Affordable Housing Bond," said Metro Councilor Craig Dirksen.

In Washington County, 1 out of 4 renters is considered rent-burdened, paying more than 50% of their income towards rent. This new building will help address the high rent burden experienced by a significant proportion of Beaverton's renter households.

"Affordable housing projects like this one are a critical piece in the creation of a vibrant community — providing families of all incomes stable housing close to work and play," said Washington County Chair Kathryn Harrington. "We are grateful to have so many partners at the table, working together to make this a reality."

With more than half of the apartments containing two or more bedrooms, the Mary Ann will be home to very low-income families with children with incomes at or below 60% of the Area Median Income (AMI), with 20% of the units set aside for households at or below 30% AMI. Onsite programs and services for residents will be provided through a partnership with Bienestar. As part of their work, Bienestar provides culturally specific, bilingual services to the Latinx and low-income communities of Washington County.

"Creating equitable opportunities for larger families to live in the opportunity-rich, Old Town neighborhood in Beaverton was a key priority in developing this site," said REACH CEO, Dan Valliere. "With access to affordable transit options, high-quality healthcare, proximity to living-wage jobs, and many community resources, The Mary Ann will be a supportive place to call home where families and individuals can realize their goals."

The Mary Ann design features 39 parking spaces, a secure bike room, laundry facilities, and a community room open to a large courtyard. The property is within walking distance to the MAX light rail and WES commuter rail, multiple shopping opportunities, grocery stores, Beaverton City Library, post office, restaurants, services, parks, and across the street from Beaverton High School.

"I am proud that our plans for a more vibrant downtown are inclusive and that our city center welcomes community members who need our support most," said Beaverton Mayor Denny Doyle. "The Mary Ann exemplifies the type of housing development we need in Beaverton with both affordable and deeply affordable homes and great access to transit and downtown amenities. Increasing the availability and affordability of housing is a key focus area and will remain a top city priority."

The $22.6 million project is financed with funding from the City of Beaverton's allocation of the Metro Housing Bond, Oregon Housing and Community Services, Business Oregon, Washington County, City of Beaverton grant funds, the Beaverton Urban Redevelopment Agency, and Energy Trust of Oregon. Permanent financing will be provided by the Network for Oregon Affordable Housing (NOAH). Wells Fargo Bank made an almost $12M in Low Income Housing Tax Credit equity investment in the project and is also the construction lender. The Community Housing Fund provided acquisition financing.

The building will be managed by REACH and is designed by Scott Edwards Architecture with construction by Walsh Construction, and construction management by The Klosh Group. REACH is pursuing certification through Earth Advantage.

Construction will proceed during the COVID-19 environment as providing housing is essential, especially during this time when physical distancing is critical. The Mary Ann will take approximately 15 months to complete.

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