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Barnes Butte Vista facility will provide 44 units of low-income housing in Northeast Prineville

JASON CHANEY - The Barnes Butte Vista facility will provide 44 units of low-income housing in Northeast Prineville.

Housing Works has begun work on a new project that will bring another 44 units of affordable housing to Prineville.

Named Barnes Butte Vista by the regional housing authority, the facility, once completed, will resemble for-profit apartments like the nearby Wild Horse Mesa complex. It will be comprised of seven buildings that occupy land just southeast of where Peters Road intersects with Yellowpine Road. It will be built on 4.5 acres of a 9-acre piece of Housing Works-owned property. The remaining 4.5 acres, on the east end of the property, borders the Barnes Butte Recreation Area and will be left empty for park space.

"We dedicated 4.5 of that 9 acres back to the city (of Prineville) so that they could have some sort of regional park down there," said David Brandt, Housing Works' executive director.

Like other Housing Works projects, Barnes Butte Vista will provide units to households earning 60% of the area median income, which ranges from $31,000 to $51,000 annually depending on household size, and households making 30% of area median income ($15,500 to $25,000 per year).

"The rents are designed to allow folks at those income levels to pay no more than 30% of their income toward rent," Brandt explained.

Barnes Butte Vista will be comprised entirely of two- and three-bedroom family units, which is what is in highest demand according to Brandt. The facility will also include a playground and a community room.

When Housing Works first acquired the property for Barnes Butte Vista, it was on a bit of an island. Brandt points that very little besides some nearby residential property bordered the space. In addition, it is located at the end of Peters, which limits access points.

Recently, that has all changed. The land to the east of the project site is city-owned park and recreational space that local leaders intend to develop during the next few years. Also, plans are afoot to connect Peters Road with Combs Flat Road. Once that connection is completed, residents will have direct access to downtown Prineville via Main Street and the schools via Combs Flat Road.

"It's a great site," Brandt said, adding that it comes with a great view of Barnes Butte. "It's a beautiful piece of property."

So far, one building is under construction on the site and others will follow. Housing Works is targeting a completion date of early spring 2022, but Brandt pointed out that the pandemic and building supply issues have made construction schedules a bit unpredictable.

"I think the city will allow us to occupy the buildings one at a time," he said, "so not all of them may be finished before the first folks move in, as long as we have the parking lot and driveways finished."

Families who are interested in a Barnes Butte Vista home will soon be able to apply with Housing Works. Applications will be chosen at random, although Brandt said that Crook County residents will likely get preference. Those applications that are not randomly chosen to fill one of the 44 units will be put on a waiting list in the order they were randomized.

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