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Metro bond money will partly fund the new Gresham homes, city has $7.6 million left to invest

COURTESY RENDERING: ANKROM MOISAN ARCHITECTS - Albertina Kerr will construct new affordable housing on its Gresham campus.

Two low-income housing projects in Gresham got the green light to receive $19 million from a Metro housing bond, which will create 194 affordable new homes.

Albertina Kerr received $12.3 million to help fund a project for 147 affordable housing units on its Gresham campus on Northeast 162nd Avenue between Glisan and Halsey streets. The other project is Rockwood 10, a 224-unit complex, which got $6.7 million for 47 of the 224 units.

"It's been a long road," Gresham City Councilor Mario Palmero said at a city council meeting on the awards.

Voters passed the Metro housing bonds in 2018, but the timeline for completion of bond projects is five to seven years.

The city of Gresham received $26.7 million from the Metro bond to dole out for low-income housing in Gresham.

The Gresham City Council approved the two projects, which leaves about $7.6 million for future housing in Gresham, according to the city.

Although the two approved projects are new housing, the remaining funds could be used to rehabilitate existing low-income housing or build additional new homes.

Councilor David Widmark said "both of these projects tick off everything we as a Council put together when we started this process."

COURTESY RENDERING: WECHTER ARCHITECTURE  - Rockwood 10, which may be renamed, will provide affordable housing and a park and social services that woudld be open to non-residents.

Metro directed that the money would help fund projects that totaled at least 187 affordable housing units in Gresham. It wanted 77 of them "deeply" affordable, targeted to folks earning 30% of the Area Median Income. It directed 93 of them be "family-sized," which is two or more bedrooms.

The funding for the two projects pays for only part of the cost of the developments. The projects require other sources of funds from grants, donations, investors and other sources.

The two projects have made it through most of the approval process, but Rockwood 10 has one more step to go with Metro.

Albertina Kerr's building will be a four-story, 96,816-square-foot structure with homes ranging in size from studios to three bedrooms. Thirty of the units will be calibrated to folks making 30% of the Area Median Income. Another 102 units will be for families earning 60% of the AMI and 15 units at 80% of the AMI. Thirty of the homes will be targeted for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Rockwood 10 is a 224-unit complex on 14 acres between Southeast Stark Street, 187th Avenue and Yamhill Street. The bond money will fund 47 housing units at 30% of Area Median Income, and 23 of those will be three-bedroom homes and four will be four-bedroom units.

Rockwood 10 is being developed by Community Development Partners and Hacienda CDC.

The two projects selected have drawn objections from some members of the community. Some people decry insufficient parking, congestion or fear of crime. Rockwood Preparatory Academy, 740 S.E. 182nd Ave., would lose some play area and had safety and other objections to Rockwood 10.

The two projects were selected and five were not.

One of the disappointed developers that did not receive Gresham's Metro bond money was Palindrome Communities. They hoped to get funds to move ahead with a large development in the Civic neighborhood, abutting the MAX Civic Station on the south side, on land owned by Metro.

The fate of that project is up in the air as Metro has given Palindrome until the end of the year to finalize funding for the 435-unit mixed-use complex.

Another project that did not make the cut was Cleveland Commons, at 212 N.E. Cleveland Ave., proposed by Cascadia Behavioral Healthcare.

Planned housing for the Downtown Rockwood development at 18600 E. Burnside St., submitted by RKm Development, and one called Gresham Veterans Place, 1220 N.E. Division St. submitted by Home First, also were not funded. Likewise a project called Liberty Green, at 424 N.E. Liberty Ave., proposed by nonprofit Human Solutions and Colas Development Group was not get selected.


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