REDMOND, OR -- Mayor Ed Fitch delivered his State of the City address Thursday highlighting economic and population growth. He says both are estimated to continue, “We have to build at least 365 to 400 living units, each year.” He told the gathered crowd at city hall there are expansion plans throughout all sectors of the city as nearly 8,000 people have moved in since 2018, an average of about one family per day. “It'll give us a unique opportunity to master plan where schools should go, where parks should go,” he said.
Fitch tells KBND News that growth presents opportunities and challenges, “Well, we're seeing a lot more of family wage jobs. The problem is that we're getting family wage jobs but the cost of housing is outstripping it. Now it takes two family wage jobs for a family to find a place that's affordable. That paradigm is going to have to change somehow.”
He also touted the city’s collaboration with Oasis Village and Mountain View Fellowship’s Safe Parking program, both serving the homeless. “Together with nonprofits, the County, COIC, the state, the Feds… We work as a team as best we can,” Fitch tells KBND there is also a plan for a managed-camp in Southeast Redmond, “What I envision it as is a place where we have individual sites. So, it's not a free for all into who's going to be where. Where they have trash, they have bathrooms, they have water. So, there's some level of dignity for these people. The idea is that we're going to get them off the streets… off the county lands, but also provide the services to help those who need it or want it, to get out of homelessness, into transitional housing, and into some type of permanent housing.”
In addition to affordable housing and homelessness, Fitch is focusing on Redmond’s water stewardship, and future transportation connectivity.