Developers and representatives from nonprofits asked a city of Bend advisory committee for nearly $2.5 million Wednesday to build dozens of affordable homes and provide more beds for homeless people.
The money would come from Bend’s affordable housing fee, which is 0.33 percent of the valuation on all building permits submitted to the city. Since it instituted the fee in 2006, the city has collected more than $6.4 million and been able to lend $14 million in low-interest loans to affordable housing developers and homeless shelters.
Developers then use those loans to leverage additional grants, loans and tax credits from other public agencies and private groups. So far, the fees contributed to 770 affordable homes in Bend.
The city doesn’t know how much money it can lend this year, but it will know by the time the committee makes lending recommendations late this month, said Lynne McConnell, affordable housing manager.
Developers submitted proposals under the impression that the city would have about $600,000 to lend — about half of the $1.15 million Bend loaned last year. Bend’s starting its loan process earlier this year so developers will know if they have the loans in time to apply for tax credits or other funding sources.
This year’s proposals include building several cottage communities for low-income residents, expanding the Bethlehem Inn homeless shelter and adding an emergency shelter for women and children.
Bend’s affordable housing committee will recommend funding decisions to the Bend City Council later this spring.
Habitat for Humanity
Developer Dirk van Houweling plans to build 12 cottages on an acre of flat land where Newport Avenue meets College Way, and nine of those could be Habitat for Humanity homes, said Scott Rohrer, Habitat executive director. The nonprofit, which builds homes for families making between 35 and 80 percent of the median income in the area, asked the committee for $200,000 to help pay for construction costs.
Habitat for Humanity has $160,000 of its own money to put toward construction. Each home is expected to cost about $40,000 to build.
“We’ve run into kind of a bump in that land costs are stupid crazy high,” Rohrer said. “This is a golden opportunity, but we really need the help to make it work.”
Bethlehem Inn expansion
The homeless shelter on Bend’s north side asked for $250,000 for the second phase of its expansion: demolishing the dormitory-style housing for single residents and building a new structure. The new building will be accessible to people with disabilities and add more beds, said Gwenn Wysling, the shelter’s executive director.
The whole expansion, which also includes a new 10-family building set to open this summer, will cost about $9 million. Bethlehem Inn has been fundraising as well, Wysling said.
“We can use all the help we can get,” Wysling said. “We’ve knocked on a lot of doors, and we’re in that final stretch.”
Homes for veterans
Central Oregon Veterans Outreach wants $98,500 from the fund to start building homes for veterans on two lots at Emerson and Dekalb avenues. The group could use the money to get the land ready and start building a duplex on one lot immediately, said Kathy Skidmore, its executive officer.
The group now has 27 homes or apartments for veterans, but they aren’t enough to meet a community need, Skidmore said.
“We have people on our waiting list,” she said. “We’re just trying to get them in somewhere, and we’ve filled up all of our housing except for the new house.”
A 5-acre site on Butler Market Road adjacent to the future Empire Road extension is the planned site of 64 apartments spread across eight two-story buildings. The developer, Pacific Crest Affordable Housing, asked for $800,000 from the city to contribute to the $19 million total cost.
Bend is already providing the land for free but will require Pacific Crest to make about $500,000 in infrastructure improvements, co-operating manager John Gilbert said. The six buildings south of Thornhill Lane will house families, while the two north of the road will be restricted to seniors.
Pacific Crest also asked for another $350,000 loan to develop 26 cottages at a lot near Ninth Street and Glenwood Drive. The developer received $450,000 last year to develop the small homes on some land the city plans to swap with Bend’s First Presbyterian Church, which accidentally built part of its parking lot on the city land.
Pacific Crest would build 18 of the cottages, and Habitat for Humanity would build the other eight, Gilbert said. They’ll be two stories and about 810 square feet in a collection of “bright and cheerful” colors, he said. Construction could start as soon as September, and homes would cost about $230,000.
Kôr and Housing Works
Two groups, Kôr and Housing Works, plan to partner on a five-cottage cluster at 21221 Hurita Place. Four of the homes would be sold and one would be kept as a rental.
The current owners will sell the land for what they paid for it seven or eight years ago, keeping costs low, co-founder Jason Offutt said. The groups asked the city for $130,000 and said they could break ground in 2019 and have the homes ready for move-in in late 2019 or early 2020. The loan would be paid back by mid-2020, he said.
Shanda Harris, a real estate agent and pastor at Epikos Church in Bend, has been looking for a spot for a new emergency women’s and children’s homeless shelter. Her application asked for $600,000 to help with purchasing and renovating the Bend Community Center, but the center’s owner decided a few days ago to go with another buyer.
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