If Oregon legislators truly care about affordable housing, they shouldn’t let a Redmond plan for about 200 affordable housing units die. The solution is easy: Pass House Bill 2336 and let the project proceed.
Redmond is ready with a project. It’s got interest from developers. There is no shortage of demand. Redmond just needs permission from the state to go ahead.
The project is for 450 units in total. Half of the units will serve people making 80 percent of area median income or less. Redmond’s area median income for a family of four is about $69,000. The housing would not be separated by income. It would all be mixed together.
What’s the hitch? Redmond needs permission from the state to go ahead with the project, because it is outside its urban growth boundary.
Legislators approved a pilot project in 2016 to allow winners of a competition to build affordable housing outside their UGBs. Both Bend and Redmond applied in the category for cities of more than 25,000. Bend won.
That doesn’t mean Redmond’s project was flawed. It met the qualifications. It doesn’t mean Redmond’s project is less deserving. Bend’s project may have had an edge, in part, because it has a fixed-route bus system. Redmond does not.
HB 2336 — sponsored in part by state Rep. Jack Zika, R-Redmond, and Sen. Tim Knopp, R-Bend — would give the Redmond project a green light. The bill had a hearing on Monday,
Lawmakers can talk and talk about their commitment to affordable housing. Solicitude is one thing. Turn it into something concrete. Pass HB 2336.