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BEND, OR -- For the first time, Bend Area Habitat for Humanity will build a townhouse in northeast Bend. Robin Cooper-Engle says the switch to multi-family housing is directly related to the cost of land inside the city. "Because of the families we’re serving – they’re lower income – if we’re buying land at top dollar, it doesn’t make it affordable for us to then build on it and sell it to a family, if it’s a single family lot. When we were looking at land and how quickly prices were going up, last year, we decided we needed make a change. We started looking at land that allowed us to build townhomes or duplexes."


She expect the nonprofit will continue to build traditional homes in Redmond, La Pine and other areas with lower land prices. But, she tells KBND News, "We will not be doing single-family homes, in the near future, anyway. So, this is our plan for the next few years. Now, if things change, like they do, in Bend then maybe there’s an opportunity. But, there’s not a lot of land left, even if it’s a single-family home, that would be right for what we build."


There is a positive side to the shift. Cooper-Engle says it will allow Habitat to serve more families, faster. "They’ll be built all at once, to a certain point. Probably the finish work, we’ll finish one and get a family in; get to the next one, finish one. So, they’ll be spaced out a little bit, maybe a month or so in between at the final stages. But, for the start of it, the foundation, and getting the house all dried in, we’ll definitely be working all at once to do that. It will definitely get us three families served quicker than we’ve been able to do."


The public is invited to celebrate the groundbreaking and meet the three families who will eventually purchase the attached units. The ceremony is scheduled for Friday at 9 a.m. at the 12th and Greenwood site.

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