Nonprofit developer College Housing Northwest has started work on a $20 million housing redevelopment project that will provide 141 furnished units for college and university students in Portland, OR, that are expected to be priced at least 15% below market.
The five-story, 75,000-square-foot project, called The Amy, will feature three student lounges with communal kitchens, a common room and an outdoor patio. It is also expected to provide parking for 35 cars and more than 200 bikes.
- The project, which is located near Portland State University, is slated to open in the fall of 2017. SERA Architects provided design services with Pavilion Construction as general contractor and Mainland Northwest as developer.
Housing prices in Portland continue to be among the highest in the country, which is ratcheting up pressure on the affordable housing market. Recent figures underline this trend, with the 20-city S&P Core Logic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index showing in its latest report that home prices there jumped 11.7% year-over-year in August, the largest increase of all cities tracked for the period.
This is spilling over into the affordable housing market, where Portland is currently facing a shortage of more than 23,000 affordable units while rents in some parts of the city have doubled or tripled in the last several years.
The lack of available affordable housing is requiring city officials to implement measures aimed at easing the crisis. Earlier this month, voters approved a $258.4 million bond that will help fund construction of 1,300 affordable housing units. It follows a move in July by the council to approve a 1% construction excise tax that is forecast to generate $8 million a year for affordable housing in the city.
Surging home prices are being reported in many areas of the country in the wake of stock shortages. Real estate website Trulia reported that housing inventory fell 6.7% in the third quarter of 2016 compared with the year-ago period and was the fifth-straight quarter of decline.
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