SALEM, OR -- An affordable housing bill that would allow Redmond to join Bend in a state affordable housing pilot program unanimously passed out of a House committee, Monday. It’s the first bill for freshman State Representative Jack Zika (R-Redmond). Central Oregon leaders testified last week in support of the proposal.
Zika told the House Committee on Human Services and Housing it would correct a flaw in the original 2016 bill that created the pilot, which streamlines the UGB expansion process for affordable housing. "This is going to be a great project to include Redmond in, to the pilot project. This basically fixes and helps us have two sets of data, to allow Bend and Redmond to both have these pilot projects." Bend and Redmond were the only two cities to apply for the program, last year; Bend was chosen. Zika added, "The two sets of data will be different because the [Redmond] land is going to be coming from the county, which is Deschutes County land. So, hopefully we can get it for a good price; and the big cost-driver of housing is the land cost. There are seven developers that are interested so this is going to be a popular program, and so it will be built out." Zika says if the bill passes, it would allow Redmond to create hundreds of new options for low-income families, on the eastern edge of the city. "Redmond is planned to have 485 units built into this 40 acre area, that half of them will be deed-restricted to be 80% AMI [Area Median Income]."
With the committee's "do pass" recommendation, HB-2336 now heads to the full House for approval.