BEND, OR -- Applications are due Friday for an affordable housing pilot project approved by the 2016 Legislature. Although nine cities were eligible, only Bend and Redmond plan to submit proposals and just one will be approved for the program. The HB 4079 pilot program allows a city to fast-track expansion of its Urban Growth Boundary for the purposes of creating more affordable housing.
Bend City Manager Eric King says his city's proposal involves 35 acres near Highway 20 and Ward Road, "About 340 homes that would be added, over 180 would be affordable to those that are making 60% of the area median income, which right now is about $67,000; so 60% of that for a family of four. Single family homes, apartments, a whole mix of housing out there, as well as a new park – a new amenity that’s currently a pond on the east side of Bend." Redmond’s application
is for about 485 units on 40 acres northeast of the city.
The winner is expected to be announced in November, but Bend City Manager Eric King doesn’t look at it like a competition with just one winner, "I think there’s a case to be made that both should, given our housing challenges in Central Oregon. So, we are both preparing to go to the Legislature this next session - 2019 - to say, ‘these are both worthwhile projects.' They should both be awarded."