PORTLAND, ORE.—The need for large affordable apartments for families spurred ROSE Community Development to build its latest project. The 37-unit Leander Court Apartments development consists mostly of three- and four-bedroom units, including five units that are aimed at women leaving the criminal justice system and reuniting with their families.
“We really saw a huge need for affordable family housing, both in terms of our waiting lists and compared to the other properties that we have in our portfolio,” said Nick Sauvie, executive director of the nonprofit developer. ROSE, which stands for Revitalize Outer South East, has built or rehabbed more than 300 units in this section of Portland. The organization has been working to improve the neighborhood for 15 years.
Residents began moving into the latest development at the end of August. Many are single parents with children. The approximately $7.5 million development was fully leased before construction was completed, according to Sauvie. Two of the apartments have 500 square feet of additional space for in-home child-care facilities. These units can each accommodate a dozen children.
Leander Court is targeted to families earning no more than 50 percent of the area median income. Monthly rents range from $370 for a two-bedroom apartment to $860 for a four-bedroom unit. Eleven of the units are project-based Sec. 8 apartments.
For the first time, ROSE Community Development is working with the Multnomah County Department of Community Justice to provide housing for women reuniting with the children, Sauvie said. The women typically will have been in transitional housing for about a year at the time they move into Leander Court.
The justice department will provide case management during the time that the women are on parole or probation. Residents also have access to other social services.
The development was financed with the help of nine different sources, including more than $4.9 million in federal low-income housing tax credits syndicated by Enterprise Community Investment, Inc. Another $900,000 came from state housing tax credits. Both credits are allocated by Oregon Housing and Community Services, which added another $65,000 in state housing trust fund money to the project.
Sauvie pointed out that the child-care space is not eligible for tax credit basis.
Other financing included a $600,000 grant from the city through Portland’s Housing Opportunity Bond, a revenue bond authorized by the City Council two years ago, and a $600,000 permanent loan from the Network for Oregon Affordable Housing. The Portland Development Commission added $531,000 in HOME funds. The Federal Home Loan Bank of Seattle’s Affordable Housing Program provided $250,000 through members Bank of America and Albina Community Bank. The Oregon Department of Energy provided about $70,000 in business energy tax credits and a weatherization grant.