BEND, OR -- Bend housing leaders celebrated the completion of the city's newest affordable housing complex, opening 40 much-needed units. Parks At Eastlake, off NE 27th, was developed by Housing Works with the help of state funds.
Michael Hinton, Chair of the Housing Works Board, told the group this project has been years in the making. "We've owned this property for 14 years. Then we finally came up with the idea of what we were going to do with it; then it took another four years to get the funding and resources to get it to where it is today."
Monday's event was a celebration, but Hinton admits much work still needs to be done to alleviate the housing crisis. "I think we can all agree that housing in Central Oregon, and not just affordable housing, housing across the board is in a state of crisis in our community. Today we don't solve the problem, but we do take a chip away at it. And, most importantly, we do solve the problem for 40 individuals and families."
Bend City Councilor Casey Roats was at the Parks at Eastlake and agreed. "It tells me we have a lot more to do because there was a lottery just for the folks who are going to receive the benefit of living here. And as a community, we can do a lot more and we should be doing a lot more. I hope the City Council is taking what we heard from Mr. Kemper about the overwhelming need relative to the supply. And, as we address things like the Urban Growth Boundary discussions, that we're taking a harder look at trying to bring some real market forces to bare to help alleviate these problems." He adds, "By expanding the Urban Growth Boundary and bringing enough land in, we can make a significant difference in the amount of supply, in the hopes that people who live at or around the median income can make their rent or their house payment."
Read more on the nearly 300 who applied for the 40 units.
The Parks at Eastlake provides eight one-bedroom, 16 two-bedroom and 16 three-bedroom units. Half are for households living below 50% of the area's median income.