North Portland’s supply of affordable housing increased by 72 homes in June with the opening of Argyle Gardens, a sustainable apartment community. Metro’s Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) program contributed $340,000 to the project developed by Transition Projects.
Argyle Gardens will provide housing to people with very low incomes and individuals transitioning out of homelessness. The project, designed by Holst Architecture, a woman-owned Portland firm, employed a highly adaptable modular approach to design which they called LISAH — standing for Low Income Single Adult Housing. This allowed them to keep costs more than 30% lower than similar projects.
“This is a remarkable project because it has really driven down the cost overall of housing units,” said Metro Councilor Sam Chase. “That’s something that’s very important for us to do as we try to really maximize the efficiency of our tax dollars that are going into housing projects.”
Residents have already begun to move in, and two of them shared their story for a virtual ribbon-cutting event on June 26. “I was on the street for 30 years,” said George, whose last name was not shared. He describes moving into Argyle Gardens as a dream. “I woke up one morning and said, ‘Man, how did I get here?’ This place is amazing. I’ve got my own bed, I’ve got a shower, I’ve got a bath tub, I’ve got a mirror, and I can cook my own meals here. It’s beautiful, man.”
In addition to the amenities enjoyed inside the buildings, Argyle Gardens residents will have easy access to public transit. The community is located within a short walking distance of the Kenton/ N Denver MAX station, and a frequent service bus line that connects it with St. John’s, Downtown, and Eastern Division.
“Metro’s TOD Program is excited to support Argyle Gardens,” said Patrick McLaughlin, senior development project manager for housing and transit-oriented development at Metro. “Not only does it provide residents affordable units with great access to transit, which is what our program is all about, but it also innovates efficient and ultimately less expensive methods of construction. We hope the region will see more projects like it.”
Applications are now being accepted for the residences, which include both studio apartments and single-room occupancy units. Those interested may check availability on the Argyle Gardens website or by calling (503) 539-0065.
“This environment helps me move up in the world,” shared Delia, who is also now living at Argyle Gardens. “It gives you a better feeling about yourself, and that’s what people need. There’s a lot of people who are like me and need just a foot on the door to get somewhere.”