Creating Opportunities in New Communities
As Washington County grows and plans for the development of new neighborhoods, the Fund has advocated for the creation of a range of housing types and prices so that complete communities are the outcome of future growth. In area such as South Hillsboro, Amber Glen, and Cooper Mountain, concept plans are under way to define and map the layout, design, and supply of housing and retail development. Similarly, Beaverton and Hillsboro are beginning to implement recently adopted urban renewal plans to reinvigorate their city centers and adjacent neighborhoods.
Achieving consensus amongst neighbors and planners that a range of housing choices should be planned for in these new communities promotes the option of living close to work, avoids the concentration of low- or high- income housing in certain neighborhoods, and encourages inter-generational social experiences for seniors and kids.
Many of the new jobs in Washington County will not provide average salaries of $75,000 but will pay closer to minimum wage. If affordable housing is not available near those jobs, those commuting in and out will add to the congestion already occurring on Highway 26 and the Beaverton/Hillsboro corridors. Employers in some Oregon communities are providing mortgage assistance as a benefit to encourage their employees to live in the community as part of recruitment and retention programs.
The Fund acts a funding partner with local governments to promote mutual goals of building strong and diverse neighborhoods. Matching our private housing development lending with public investments has the potential to create catalytic projects in target areas where economic opportunities are available. Proximity to necessary social services is another key element of this approach.
Participation in public planning activities, combined with strategic investment of our dollars in support of mutual objectives, presents a long-term partnership opportunity for the Fund to collaborate with local elected officials, neighborhood leaders, financing entities, and non-profit community development corporations who share our mission of creating affordable housing for working families and those living on fixed incomes.