Construction starts on Bend apartment complex

East-side apartments will serve low-income residents, veterans

By Joseph Ditzler / The Bulletin / @josefditzler

A second phase of an affordable housing complex on Bend’s east side will provide 40 apartments to low-income people, with four units set aside for veterans and others transitioning out of homelessness, officials said Wednesday.

State and local officials, including Bend Mayor Jim Clinton and Margaret Van Vliet, director of Oregon Housing and Community Services, marked the start of construction of Eastlake Village phase 2 on NE Bellevue Drive.

Kenny LaPoint, executive director of Housing Works, the Central Oregon public housing authority, said R&H Construction may complete the apartments by spring. Oregon Housing and Community Services provided Housing Works with tax credits worth $7.5 million to build the complex.

The new housing will add to the 40 units in phase one and 720 others also managed by Housing Works in Central Oregon, LaPoint said.

The new Eastlake Village complex will feature eight one-bedroom, 16 two-bedroom and 16 three-bedroom apartments, he said. Half the units will be occupied by residents earning 50 percent or less of Deschutes County’s median income; the other half will go to residents earning 60 percent or less of median income, LaPoint said. This year, 50 percent of Deschutes County’s median income equaled $31,200 for a family of four.

Speakers at the event described the lack of affordable housing and dearth of rentals in Bend as a crisis. LaPoint said he believed the city’s rental vacancy rate had slipped below 0.5 percent.

Van Vliet said, “When hardworking families can’t afford a decent apartment, they are forced to stay with friends or pay so much for rent that there’s no money left over for clothing, medication, decent food, much less music lessons or soccer uniforms.”

— Reporter: 541-617-7815, jditzler@bendbulletin.com