Groundbreaking for Willow Creek Crossing Apartments

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, September 05, 2018

Sponsored by: Housing Services Department

Groundbreaking for Willow Creek Crossing affordable housing project

Willow Creek Crossing
The Housing Authority of Washington County (HAWC), working together with DBG Properties, LLC and several partner agencies, broke ground today on a project to increase the availability of affordable housing in Washington County. Officials took part in a brief ceremony to launch construction of the Willow Creek Crossing Apartments, a 120-unit multifamily rental project on 1.3 acres located on SW Baseline, at SW 185th Avenue in Hillsboro.

The $33.1 million project received funding from several local and state sources to include $300,000 from the City of Hillsboro, $500,000 from Metro, $250,000 from Meyer Memorial Trust, $4.5 million from the Oregon Housing and Community Services LIFT Rental Housing Program, and $12.8 million in equity from the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) Program administered by Oregon Housing and Community Services. The tract of land was formerly owned by Washington County and was transferred to HAWC by the Board of Commissioners to serve low-income families.

Multifamily rental housing is in short supply in Washington County, with an average vacancy rate of less than 2 percent. The 2015-2020 Washington County Consolidated Plan estimates an affordable housing gap of 14,000 to 23,000 units for county residents living at or below 50 percent of the median family income.

"With one out of four households in Washington County earning less than $35,000 a year, the current supply of regulated affordable housing falls far short of the need," said Andy Duyck, Chair of the Washington County Board of Commissioners. "This one project will not solve the issue for us but once again, the strength of our partnerships is on full display with this well-planned effort to move the needle in the right direction."

All of the units will be reserved for residents at or below 60 percent area median income, which is $48,840 for a family of four in Washington County. The project will include 38 studios, 71 one-bedroom units and 11 two-bedroom units to serve households working in lower wage jobs who otherwise cannot afford to live in the area. Proposed rents at Willow Creek Crossing will be approximately 27 percent less than the market rate for units of similar quality and style.

Additionally, the construction phase is expected to create approximately 150 living-wage jobs over the next two years and will generate payment of systems development charges and permitting fees to Washington County and the City of Hillsboro.

"Willow Creek Crossing is a perfect example of how working together at the local level can help address our regional housing issues," said Hillsboro Mayor Steve Callaway. "As a City Council, we have prioritized the creation of partnerships that encourage and support the development of more affordable housing. This important project is a large part of nearly 200 new affordable units that will be coming online in Hillsboro over the next several years."

When completed in 2019, Willow Creek Crossing will provide onsite amenities including 2,500 square feet of commercial space, a community room, fitness room and an outdoor play area. In addition, this apartment community will be closely situated to public transit as well as the Portland Community College Willow Creek Center, which serves as a one-stop destination for the unemployed and under-employed.

Over two years ago, HAWC began working with DBG Properties, LLC, an established private developer of affordable housing based in Portland, to explore a creative public-private partnership that would expand the County's inventory of regulated affordable housing units.

Media Contact:

Komi Kalevor, Executive Director, Housing Authority of Washington County