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Housing Affordability: What We’re Doing to Make a Difference

By the Hillsboro City Council

Hillsboro City Council 2017

The following City Council Conversation article appeared in the July/August 2018 issue of the City Views newsletter. Click here to read the City of Hillsboro's Affordable Housing Policy and Action Plan.

For many of our neighbors and our families, the cost of housing in Hillsboro and the greater Portland metro area is significantly impacting livability.

Hillsboro has more than 2,000 affordable apartments and units in neighborhoods including Orenco Station, Quatama, and Downtown Hillsboro. Still, we need more.

So, how is the City of Hillsboro helping? Let’s start most recently with the $300,000 that we approved to help build 120 new affordable housing units.

The City's $300,000 contribution to the Willow Creek Crossing Apartments at 185th Avenue and Baseline Road will help the Washington County Housing Authority and DBG Properties move forward with the affordable housing project.

Orchards at Orenco

Typically, the role of cities is not to construct or operate affordable housing, however, one of our 2018 City Council priorities is to “create partnerships to encourage and support the development of more market-rate and affordable housing.”

Housing costs rise when our overall housing supply fails to keep pace with demand. Adding market-rate housing in neighborhoods such as AmberGlen, Downtown, and South Hillsboro, helps reduce pressure on housing pricing for everyone.

The City’s Affordable Housing Policy and Action Plan identifies several other tools and policy options that can increase or preserve the supply of affordable housing for Hillsboro community members, including:

Supporting the Community Housing Fund, a local nonprofit providing early-stage financing for affordable housing. The City of Hillsboro has contributed to the Community Housing Fund since 2006.

Evaluating City-owned land parcels as potential affordable-housing sites. City staff are working to maximize developable space on infrastructure project sites.

Orchards at Orenco phase 3Later this year, REACH Community Development’s Orchards at Orenco project will open its third phase in close proximity to the Orenco Station MAX stop. The new 52-unit building will include 19 affordable three-bedroom apartments ideal for families. That's in addition to the 115 affordable apartments created by Orchards at Orenco since 2015.

Looking ahead, local nonprofit Bienestar received a $4 million award recently from Oregon Housing and Community Services to renovate the Montebello Apartments in Hillsboro. Bienestar's renovation project will begin in 2019, and will benefit the 200 residents who call Montebello home.

As this important work continues, we invite you to read the City of Hillsboro's Affordable Housing Policy and Action Plan.


Learn more about Hillsboro's affordable housing providers:

REACH Community Development:
Washington County:


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