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City to construct at least 187 units in next seven years using its portion of the funds

VIA METRO - The Dekum Court apartments in Portland will be refurbished using Metro housing bond money. In the next seven years, the city of Gresham will use regional housing bond funds to support the construction of at least 187 units of affordable housing.

During a Tuesday evening meeting, Feb. 4, Gresham City Council voted unanimously to approve an intergovernmental agreement with Metro Regional Government that will see local implementation of the Regional Affordable Housing Bond within the city.

On Nov. 6, 2018, voters approved a $652.8 million general obligation bond measure to permanently create affordable housing across the region. The housing must be occupied by low-income families making 80% or less of the area's median income. The housing can be any type — including single-family, multi-family, houses, apartments, or the land on which such facilities can be built.

Gresham will receive more than $29.7 million in capital funds for housing investments; $563,305 for seven years of administration; and more than $2.9 million for land acquisition. The city must create at least 187 units, of which 77 (40%) are deeply affordable and 93 (50%) are at least 2-bedroom.

"The aspiration is to potentially build more than that," said Brian Monberg, senior housing manager with Gresham.

The plan in Gresham is to create the new housing through as many as four projects. The city wants to use a "portfolio approach," with each investment having a mix of affordability, deeply affordable and family units. There are projects in the planning stages that already have been earmarked as potential recipients for the funds.

The city wants to work with third-party developers like Habitat for Humanity and Proud Ground to promote home ownership as part of the investment. The City Council also stressed a desire to use funds to rehabilitate dilapidated housing and land across the community.

The city also highlighted a robust process for creating racial equity throughout the implementation of the housing bonds — including translating applications and partnering with cultural groups to spread word of the new affordable housing options.


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