Hermanson Preserve Apartments Awarded LIFT Funding

An affordable-housing apartment project in Woodburn was among the recipients of Oregon Housing and Community Services’ recent Local Innovation and Fast Track (LIFT) funding awards.

Hermanson Preserve Apartments, a planned 168-unit development with a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments, received a $7.35 million LIFT award. The development is sited for construction in southeast Woodburn at the 400 block of S. Pacific Highway 99E.

On Wednesday, July 15,OHCS spokeswoman Kate Gonsalves announced statewide awards through the LIFT program totaling more than $75 million. The program was created by Senate Bill 1582 during the 2016 legislative session with the goal of creating affordable homes for vulnerable families and focused on rural communities and communities of color residing across Oregon.

“Everyone in Oregon deserves a warm, safe, dry, accessible and affordable place to call home,” Oregon Gov. Kate Brown said. “The LIFT program is a critical tool to ensure more children and families throughout the state have safe and stable housing.”

Gonsalves noted that the LIFT program can fund homes for rent or purchase, and this year’s award of $75 million will build 1,262 new affordable homes across the state, primarily helping historically underserved communities.

Hermanson Preserve is anticipated to offer rentals to households earning from 30% to 60% below the area median income level. Half of the units will be eligible for project-based rental assistance from Marion County Housing Authority.

OHCS officials stressed that the project sponsor, Wishcamper Development Partners, will give preference to securing homes for victims and survivors of domestic violence and individuals referred by the Marion County Law Enforcement Diversion Program.

To remove barriers for access to affordable housing for the Latino community, Wishcamper has signed a memorandum of understanding with Eugene-based Cornerstone Community Housing, which will provide tailored resident services and programming, driven by resident input. The sponsor plans to implement low-barrier entry screening, linguistically appropriate on-site staffing and marketing materials.

OHCS worked with representatives from communities of color, diverse geographical representatives and industry experts to review applications. Applicants were asked to address equity and diversity targets in their proposals, including contracting, subcontracting and professional services with minority-owned, women-owned and emerging small businesses.

Oregon Housing Stability Council reviewed the recommendations and determined the awards.

“As a result of historical and current discriminatory housing practices and policies, affordable housing remains an urgent need for Black, Indigenous, people of color communities,” OHCS Executive Director Margaret Salazar said. “The LIFT program explicitly addresses these disproportionate housing affordability challenges in communities large and small. We are grateful to Gov. Brown and the Legislature for their foresight in investing in this innovative housing program.”