▶️ Several construction projects aim to ease Central Oregon’s affordable housing crunch

By HANNAH SIEVERT
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY

A plot of land in southwest Bend will soon be a construction site for a 240-unit affordable housing complex.

But David Brandt, executive director of Housing Works, said the need for affordable housing in Central Oregon is only getting worse.

“Central Oregon’s growing very fast and land is fairly scarce, and so we have a supply and demand problem,” Brandt said. 

Housing Works is currently constructing a 47-unit affordable housing complex in Redmond. To keep the housing affordable, Housing Works sets rents to match either 30 percent of 60 percent of the area’s median income level.

“In Deschutes County, about between a quarter to a third of all renters are what’s called rent burdened, meaning they pay more than a third of their income toward rent,” Brandt said. 

Brandt said another 29-unit affordable housing complex is almost done in Redmond, and there are more than 300 people on the complex’s waitlist.

“The demand for affordable housing is tremendous in the region, and it’s getting worse,” Brandt said. 

The City of Bend is hoping to ease the affordable housing crunch by building a housing complex in south Bend, which is set to open in July 2021.

But the city is still hoping for community input on the issue. The city has invited Bend residents to attend a virtual public meeting with the Affordable Housing Advisory Committee on Oct. 14 at 3 p.m.

At the meeting, people can learn about fair housing laws and provide input on how rent burden can be eased in Bend.

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