Proposed Clover Court Development
As part of a long-standing policy to donate surplus property to non-profit organizations that create and manage affordable housing, Washington County has been approached by a community partner, Luke-Dorf, Inc., to consider transferring a piece of County-owned surplus land to help address chronic homelessness among those with mental illness.
Luke-Dorf's proposal would develop six small housing units in compliance with existing land use rules in order to help fill a gap in the affordable housing rental market. If approved, tenants screened by Luke-Dorf would have access to services supporting their progress towards self-sufficiency.
The County and Luke-Dorf are in the early stages of a due-diligence process that includes an environmental review of the parcel. The next step will be to bring the matter before the Board of County Commissioners at a date yet to be scheduled for a decision about whether to transfer ownership to Luke-Dorf.
Work to complete an environmental review of the proposed Clover Court homes near SW 170th and Bany Road continues this month with some contractor activity on the site. The Board of Commissioners has not yet scheduled a meeting to decide on a land transfer.
Washington County and the Luke-Dorf nonprofit organization convened a community meeting last month about a proposed six-home development meant to help address chronic homelessness.
Frequently Asked Questions
As rents and home values have sharply increased since the end of the recent recession, an estimated gap of 14,000 affordable homes has emerged in Washington County for those with low or extremely low incomes. This gap comes as the county was already working to identify housing for close to 2,000 households every year, known to be homeless or at immediate risk to becoming so. Of these, a significant portion is struggling with mental illnesses that have become barriers to their eventual success and self-sufficiency. Washington County has had a long-term strategy of working collaboratively with nonprofit providers of affordable housing, peer groups and mental health service providers to move people off of the streets, treat mental illness appropriately and provide affordable options for permanent housing. This "housing first" strategy is helping formerly homeless people bring stability and dignity to their lives so that they can recover from the trauma of homelessness, find work and become self-sufficient.
Buying land, building homes that are affordable to those facing homelessness and providing services appropriate for these individuals can be too expensive for developers and service providers acting alone. Washington County has a long-standing policy of donating surplus property to nonprofit organizations that create and manage affordable housing. In this case, a 1.29-acre parcel of undeveloped land on SW Bany Road was left over from a completed county road project along 170th Avenue. After assessing other surplus land sites where zoning or existing water quality facilities would not allow for residential development, the property at 17025 SW Bany Road emerged as fitting requirements for the Clover Court affordable housing development proposed by Luke-Dorf, Inc. Luke-Dorf is a nonprofit organization with 40 years of experience providing housing for those recovering from mental illness and other challenges often associated with homelessness. Luke-Dorf's proposal was chosen for federal funding to help operate Clover Court through a competitive process overseen by a work group representing county and nonprofit organizations focused on addressing homelessness. Other affordable housing and public housing properties and developments are serving communities throughout Washington County, but more are needed to face our community's growing affordable housing gap.
If this proposal were to proceed, Luke-Dorf would build three small duplexes for a total of six studio apartments in compliance with existing land use rules. These homes would be designed to provide permanent, affordable and stable housing for individual adults who have experienced chronic homelessness and who live with mental illness. Luke-Dorf would like the six studio apartments to offer a healthy environment for several of Washington County's most vulnerable individuals to live independently and prosper in a community of opportunity and support.
Luke-Dorf has stated that their property management team would use an external screening company to complete background checks on all potential residents for the location. The authorized screening company would run background, credit and reference checks on all applicants and screen for serious criminal behavior. Luke-Dorf has said that any applicant who has been convicted of a felony-level crime or has a pattern of arrests or problematic behaviors would not be eligible to live at Clover Court; nor would any applicant who is a sex offender, uses illegal drugs or has felony-level drug convictions. More information about this screening criteria can be found at the Luke-Dorf website.
Key Documents and HistoryClover Court Proposal
Land Use Planning DocumentsShould the Board approve a property transfer, a Type III land use review of the proposed development would be required. NOTE: The land use process associated with the Clover Court proposal has not begun, but if a development review process to begin more information will available from this Clover Court webpage.
January 5, 2017 – Notice of Intent to Transfer Property
September 24, 2015 – Request for Proposals for U.S. Housing and Urban Development Continuum of Care Funding
Fair Housing Guidance
Surplus Land Transfer Process
August 20, 1996 – Amendment to the Real Property Management Guidelines - Transfer of Property to Community Based Nonprofit Organizations
November 5, 1991 – Real Property Management Guidelines