Community Partners for Affordable Housing, along with elected and state officials, gathered Tuesday morning in Tigard to break ground on the agency's newest project, Red Rock Creek Commons, a 48-unit, one-bedroom affordable housing complex.
The four-story building will be located at 11090 S.W. 68th Parkway in the Tigard Triangle urban renewal area.
Tuesday's gathering included will comments from Jillian Saurage-Felton, Community Partners for Affordable Housing development director; Rachael Duke, director of that agency; Tigard Mayor Jason Snider; Val Valfre, Oregon Housing and Community Service's Housing Stability Council chairman and Metro Councilor Craig Dirksen.
Duke said she was appreciative of all the agencies who helped get to the point of building more affordable housing in the area, noting that Red Rock Creek Commons will also include eight units for those with mental illness, which will be through a partnership with Luke-Dorf, a mental health agency headquartered in Tigard.
Duke said that the fact "it's taken four years to get to this (point) really shows what a Herculean effort to put one of these projects together."
She said that in a year from now, the community will be able to see the completed project, which will include a beautiful deck overlooking Red Rock Creek. She noted that 24 of the apartments will be set aside for those who can use housing vouchers, meaning it will allow the non-profit group to house some very low-income residents.
"Today is a day to celebrate success," said Mayor Snider. "We celebrate a successful partnership that will help meet a community need."
He said the project is also part of the first commitment of urban renewal money in the Tigard Triangle, a 500-acre parcel of land that contains a district designed specifically for mixed-use zoning under a so-called "lean code." That code makes it easier for developers to receive approval for their projects in that area.
"Affordable housing is a great need in Tigard," said Snider. "Twenty-eight percent of Tigard households are considered rent burdened." Rent burden comprises households that pay 30% or more of their gross income on housing costs.
"Twenty-eight percent. That's something that weighs on me heavy," Snider said. "It's one of the things that keeps me up at night."
Snider pointed out that the city recently approved exemptions of systems development charges -- those charges normally picked up by developers to install needed infrastructure -- for affordable housing, something that will save Community Partners for Affordable Housing $460,000.
"This project has been a dream and vision for many of us here," Valfre from the state of Oregon said, adding that's it's something that's truly needed in the area.
Metro's Dirksen agreed.
"We at Metro are happy to support this partnership," he said. "This partnership between Community Partners for Affordable Housing, Washington County, the City of Tigard, and many others to develop a project that provides quality, affordable housing opportunities here in Tigard where I have personally lived for the past 42 years."
In addition, Saurage-Felton had previously pointed out that plans are to create a nature area from the Red Rock Creek to about 50 feet towards the complex where native vegetation will be left alone but invasive species will be removed.
Community Partners for Affordable Housing was founded in Tigard in 1993. It has built eight affordable housing communities (apartment complexes) since then, five of which are in Tigard.
Tigard Triangle developments move forward
In addition to the future Red Rock Creek Commons, three other Tigard Triangle projects have obtained building permits and are at different stages of development, according to Tigard city planners.
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.