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Grant funds enable housing authority to move forward on 44-unit complex near Peters Road

An incoming Prineville housing development was one of several that recently received funding from a statewide program.

Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS) announced recent Local Innovation and Fast Track (LIFT) Housing Program funding awards. Among those awarded was the Barnes Butte Vista, a 44-unit Housing Works apartment project that will be built on a 9.7-acre property southeast of where Peters Road intersects with Yellowpine Road. The project, which was approved by the Prineville Planning Commission in early January, was awarded $4.75 million. Construction is expected to begin at some point next year.

Housing Works had initially hoped to build a mobile home park on the property, announcing plans in 2018 for a 30-unit, low-income development. The two or three-bedroom homes would be about 900 to 1,200 square feet and built to match nearby stick-built homes. But the project ultimately failed to move forward.

The Barnes Butte Vista project follows the completion of the Ochoco School Crossing complex, which Housing Works opened to low-income families in 2018. The 29-unit facility was converted from a long-time elementary school.

The LIFT program was created by Senate Bill 1582 during the 2016 legislative session with the goal of creating affordable homes for vulnerable families focused on rural communities and communities of color residing across Oregon. The LIFT program can fund homes for rent or purchase. This year's award of $75,028,069 will build 1,262 new affordable homes across the state especially for historically underserved communities.

"Everyone in Oregon deserves a warm, safe, dry, accessible, and affordable place to call home," said Gov. Kate Brown. "The LIFT program is a critical tool to ensure more children and families throughout the state have safe and stable housing."

OHCS worked with community members to review and rank applications. Members included representatives from communities of color, diverse geographical representatives and industry experts. Applicants were asked to address equity and diversity targets in their proposals around contracting, sub-contracting and professional services with minority-owned, women-owned and emerging small business (MWESB). The Oregon Housing Stability Council reviewed the recommendations and awarded funding on Friday.

"As a result of historical and current discriminatory housing practices and policies affordable housing remains an urgent need for Black, indigenous, people of color communities," said OHCS Executive Director Margaret Salazar.  "The LIFT program explicitly addresses these disproportionate housing affordability challenges in communities large and small. We are grateful to Gov. Brown and the legislature for their foresight in investing in this innovative housing program."


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