Another 54 metro-area households will have permanent, stable and affordable housing this month with the opening of the Heartwood Commons supportive housing development, the latest completed building in Metro's affordable housing bond program. The building, a partnership with Bienestar, Sequoia Mental Health, and Community Partners for Affordable Housing, celebrated its grand opening Thursday, April 20 in Aloha.
“This wouldn’t be possible without the power of partnership – the partnership of community, jurisdictions, elected leaders and nonprofits,” said Metro regional housing director Patricia Rojas. “We’ve all come together in the spirit of collaboration, creativity and courage. And we are leveraging our strengths and resources in a shared commitment to help Washington County residents experiencing homelessness to access the safety and stability of affordable housing.”
The 54 new studio apartments, the first of their kind in Washington County, offer permanent supportive housing with funding from Metro's supportive housing services fund. The building will open its doors to people who are unlikely to be successful in a traditional home or apartment, and who need those supportive services to attain and maintain housing stability. New residents qualify for the building through the Washington County Coordinated Entry system to prioritize housing formerly homeless individuals. Referrals also come from on-site service providers.
Between July 2021 and the end of 2022, almost 2,900 people have been placed in housing across greater Portland thanks to Metro’s supportive housing services fund.
Voters passed the $652.7 million regional affordable housing bond in 2018 with a goal of building housing for 12,000 people around the region. The program is now on target to build enough housing for 14,000 people, with rents locked in at affordable rates for 60 to 99 years.
“I’m grateful for our partnership with Bienestar, Sequoia Mental Health, and Community Partners for Affordable Housing in delivering much-needed supportive housing in my district,” said Metro Councilor Juan Carlos González, whose district includes the Heartwood Commons. “Projects like this offer shared and local solutions to address our regional homelessness crisis while ensuring we meet our promise to voters.”
The sentiment was echoed by Washington County Commissioner Nafisa Fai.
“Washington County continues to address the homelessness crisis using every tool we have, including converting motels into supportive housing, a proven and effective method. Having a roof over your head gives people a place to start over, a place to heal that centers dignity and humanity,” she said. “This project will provide the stable foundation needed so that folks can access the crucial services they need to move along the continuum into permanent housing. Thank you to the many community partners, including voters, for coming together to fund this project, which will help people for years to come.”
The Hartwood Commons is located on the site of a former Quality Inn hotel that was purchased by the Housing Authority of Washington County in 2021 with the aim of converting it to permanent housing.
To learn about all of Metro’s affordable housing bond projects, visit the construction performance dashboard.