|Aug 03, 2011 --
Outline of Need
The recent economic downturn has had many serious impacts on rural residents. Among them is an increasing need for good quality, affordable rental housing. Over the years, USDA Rural Development and our partners have collaborated to provide low-income rural residents with access to safe, sanitary housing options in their local communities. In a recent effort, USDA partnered with the privately owned Chrisman Development Company and State of Oregon to rehabilitate five aging multi-family housing facilities to preserve the quality and availability of 239 units of affordable rental housing in various locations in rural Oregon.
How Rural Development Helped
Doug and Tony Chrisman, owners of Chrisman Development & Management, collaborated with USDA Rural Development and state partners to upgrade five aging apartment complexes that provide much-needed affordable housing options for low-income households, including elderly and disabled residents on fixed incomes.
For the effort, USDA Rural Development dedicated rental assistance funds and provided financing for the purchase and restoration of the facilities. The State of Oregon contributed through the Oregon Housing and Community Services program, state tax credits, and lottery backed bonds. The joint effort to rehabilitate all five facilities at once allowed the partners to maximize time, money and administrative costs.
“Including the rental assistance, USDA Rural Development put in the largest commitment of any funding source,” Doug commented. “The rental assistance USDA provides keeps rents affordable, while ensuring the owners can maintain the complexes over time,” he explained.
In her retirement, Kathleen Seagrove wanted to move back to her hometown of Willamina, Oregon, where her three sons live. In a small town with only 2,000 residents, finding adequate housing on a fixed income can be difficult. Thanks to the affordable rental housing available at Willamina Villa, one of the five facilities upgraded through the recent partnership effort, she is able to live near her family.
“It’s wonderful,” Kathleen said of the renovations. In addition to new windows, siding, parking lots, stairwells and landscaping on the exterior, she is most pleased with the upgrades to the interior. “I have better appliances, new flooring and a bench in the shower,” she said. Kathleen went on to explain that accessibility improvements to her unit and the entire facility are important for senior residents with health issues. Kathleen, herself, needs to be connected to oxygen and has difficulty getting around.
“I am very pleased with this apartment,” Kathleen says.
Programs: USDA Multi-Family Housing Program (financing and rental assistance)
USDA Investment: $4.9 million in low-interest loans and approximately $810,000/year in rental assistance for residents
Partners: Chrisman Development & Management, USDA Rural Development, State of Oregon, Oregon Housing and Community Development
Leveraged Funds: $26.8 million
Congressional District: 5
Facility Locations: Ashland, Lincoln City, Mt. Angel, Willamina, and Wilsonville, OR
Impacts: 239 units of safe, sanitary affordable rental housing preserved 100 new units of USDA rental assistance brought to rural Oregon, for a grand total of 239 units at the five facilities
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