In the last few weeks, I was able to celebrate three Metro investments in affordable housing in my district. First was a groundbreaking for a four-story building in the Gateway neighborhood that will have nearly 160 new affordable workforce homes. I also attended the ribbon cuttings at the Orchards project at the corner of Division and 82nd, which includes 47 deeply affordable units and the 72Foster, a mixed-use project of 101 affordable apartments and over 8,000 square feet of ground floor commercial space. These projects, located in parts of our region experiencing growth and with access to significant transportation infrastructure, will provide over 300 units of deeply affordable housing as well as needed commercial and gathering space in our community.
The Orchards at 82nd is a particularly exciting project for me as it’s the culmination of multi-year partnerships with APANO and Rose Community Development Corporation and leverages regional transportation investments: TriMet’s first high-capacity bus service, the Division Transit Project, will serve this area with a station near 82nd Avenue and Division Street starting in 2022.
These three projects happen to be located in the district I’m proud to represent on the Metro Council, but I know that progress on affordable housing is happening throughout the region. Metro just provided the second preliminary approval of housing bond funding to a Housing Authority of Clackamas County project in Gladstone, which will rehabilitate an existing building to open as early as 2021.
Finding an affordable place to live is one of the most pressing challenges facing our region. I’m proud that together with partners in the public and private sector, Metro is working to increase opportunities for affordable housing in opportunity rich areas through both our transit oriented development program and the Metro housing bond approved by voters last November. As our region continues to grow, the challenge won’t get any easier, but I’m glad we’re making these important strides and look forward to what is to come.