New Affordable Housing Community Welcomes First Families
September 01, 2021
Rockwood Village is the first Metro Bond-funded project to move in residents
Gresham, OR (September 1, 2021) – Rockwood Village, a new affordable housing community co-developed by Community Development Partners (CDP) and Hacienda CDC (Hacienda), welcomed the first 39 of 224 households last week. This milestone marks an exciting moment for the community and its new residents, and also for the 2018 voter-approved affordable housing bond measure, as this is the first Metro Bond-funded project to move in residents.
Rockwood Village is a new 7.4-acre, 224-unit affordable housing development located at 783 SE 185th Avenue in Gresham that includes five residential buildings, a community building, a privately funded public park, and an urban farm. The project was designed utilizing the principles of Asset Based Community Development to meet the needs of the community and includes a mix of one- to four-bedroom homes for households of a variety of sizes and income levels. The first residential building and the community building opened last week, and construction continues on the four remaining buildings, which are all scheduled to open by February 2022.
“It is exciting to meet our new residents as they move in and start this new chapter in their lives,” said Jessica Lam, Resident Services Manager with Hacienda. “Many said they are excited about the location and the opportunity to get back on their feet financially and are also interested in attending workshops we plan to host like health and wellness, financial coaching, gardening, and others.”
“I am most excited about meeting new people in the community,” said Christopher, a new resident.
“What I am most excited about is having my own place,” said Jose Ricardo, a new resident whose sentiment was shared by others.
“I am happy to know that Rockwood Village is opening to provide more affordable housing for families in Gresham, thanks to the investment voters made in 2018,” says Metro Councilor Shirley Craddick. “Rockwood Village is joining nine other developments in the greater Portland region partnering with Metro, like the Mary Ann in Beaverton and the Viewfinder in Tigard, to make available more affordable housing. These voter-approved investments are bearing fruit and will be assets to our community for decades to come. Everyone deserves a safe, stable place to live.”
“We are very happy to welcome the first residents to Rockwood Village,” says Gresham Mayor Travis Stovall. “Making sure everyone in Gresham has a stable and affordable place to call home is one of City Council’s top priorities. It is exciting to see the services provided by Hacienda CDC that will make this community a home. We are proud of the investments underway in our Rockwood neighborhood.”
“We are extremely proud of Rockwood Village and excited to welcome the first families,” said Eric Paine, CEO of Community Development Partners. “Providing affordable, human-centered housing designed with long-term community engagement in mind is what our mission is all about. We appreciate the City of Gresham and Metro for their investment and ongoing support of this project, and we’re incredibly grateful to the community stakeholders and local leaders who helped turn the vision of Rockwood Village into a reality.”
Hacienda is Co-Developer and Co-General Partner on the project alongside Community Development Partners. In addition, Hacienda will provide an array of resident services to strengthen and support families and individuals living in Rockwood Village and the surrounding community. On-site services will include after school and early childhood education, homeownership classes, and small business advising.
“For over 30 years we have been developing housing for Latino and low-income communities,” says Hacienda Chief Executive Officer, Ernesto Fonseca. “Developing 224 apartments that people can call home in Gresham is driven by one of our values, to serve our communities where they are. We are also excited to bring to the Rockwood community a robust set of services because we know that it takes more than housing to succeed.”
An important asset in this multi-acre development is the community building, or “Mosaico Room,” which features a full kitchen and flexible community space. Located at heart of the development, the Mosaico Room is designed to foster health, education, and social activities, and be a central place for Hacienda to host community classes and events.
Rockwood Village is also designed to encourage outdoor recreation with a new privately funded public park, “Neighbors Park.” Neighbors Park includes an outdoor playfield, meandering walking paths, picnic areas, a play area, and community gardens. The park will be open to the public when construction is complete in early 2022.
Rockwood Village was designed by Portland-based Waechter Architecture in collaboration with PLACE and PSU’s Center For Public Interest Design and is being built by LMC Construction. Funding for the project includes Metro Regional Affordable Housing Bond funds, 4% LIHTC equity/conduit bond financing, Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS) GHAP funds, OHCS Weatherization funds, equity and construction financing through KeyBank, and a permanent loan with Freddie Mac.
Rockwood Village will serve individuals and families earning 30%-70% of the area median income, with rents ranging between $500-$1,894 depending on floor plan and income level. Intended to meet the needs of larger family sizes, approximately 80% of the units are two-, three-, and four-bedrooms. Metro Regional Affordable Housing Bond funds were used to create units affordable to households making 30% or less of median family income.
Rockwood Village was also one of the first affordable housing development in Oregon to implement the IRS’ new Income Averaging guidelines for affordable housing, meaning development-wide the project will achieve an average AMI of 60% (approximately $58,020 for a family of four). Community m embers interested in exploring housing opportunities at Rockwood Village can learn more at rockwood-village.com. This work is possible through strategic partnerships with the City of Gresham, Metro, Oregon Housing & Community Services, Community Development Partners and Hacienda CDC.
About Community Development Partners
Founded in 2011, Community Development Partners develops and operates sustainable, life-enhancing affordable housing with a focus on long term community engagement and innovative design. As a mission-driven, forward-thinking organization, CDP is focused exclusively on creating vibrant affordable housing communities that incorporate art, public parks, gardens, fresh food, and cultural and social programming. Today, CDP has successfully built or preserved 35 unique projects comprised of over 2,800 units throughout Oregon, California, Nevada, and Arizona.
About Hacienda CDC
Hacienda CDC is a Latino Community Development Corporation that strengthens families by providing affordable housing, homeownership support, economic advancement, and educational opportunities. Hacienda owns 381 affordable housing units in North and Northeast Portland and Molalla, providing safe, stable homes for over 1,500 individuals each year, over half of whom are children. Hacienda embraces a holistic approach to development with programs in Community Economic Development, Homeownership Support, and Youth and Family Support Services.