Eugene moves forward with plans for mixed-income housing on former LCC site

EUGENE, Oregon – Eugene City Council voted on Wednesday to move forward with a project that will bring more mixed-income housing to downtown Eugene.

Councilors discussed the current plans for the former Lane Community College site at 1059 Willamette Street during their meeting.

The Montgomery is expected to be completed by 2025. The project developers have proposed a 129-unit building with 66 units for qualified income people – people earning 80% of the average median income (AMI) – and 63 rented at market price .

RELATED: Eugene council approves plan to transform former LCC site into mixed-income housing

The councilors, whose vote was unanimous, all said they were delighted with the project and said it would do good for the future.

But there were a few councilors who expressed concerns about the state of affordable housing in the city. Councilor Alan Zelenka said he did not believe the city would be able to move forward with affordable housing if it continued to provide grants.

“As far as I know, it’s been a year and a half or more, and the only affordable housing we’re going to get is housing that we’re subsidizing through programs like this,” Zelenka said. “Otherwise, the home construction market and community is not building affordable housing, as far as I know. “

Zelenka said he still thinks it would be a good addition for people with mixed incomes.

KEZI 9 News spoke with Dr. Gerard Mildner, professor of real estate at Portland State University. He said there are better ways to get better housing for low income people.

“The most effective way to help the poor is to give them a good laptop because they can buy existing homes in the housing market that are closer to the quality levels they would normally spend their money on, at a great price. higher. lower price, ”Mildner said.

He also said subsidizing is not always in a city’s best interest.

This mixed income housing unit could not arrive early enough for the town of Eugene. Rent is historically expensive, with an average of around $ 1,500 per month.

Cheyenne Isgro is a student at the University of Oregon. She said it took her a while for her and her mother to find a place to live. She said she had to quit her job because of school.

“I’m doing 17 credits right now, so I’m using my student loans to pay my share of the rent,” Isgro said.

Isgro said she had low-rent housing in Eugene for getting her and her mother off the streets.

“If it weren’t for this social housing, we wouldn’t be able to live here,” she said.

FOLLOWING: Report: Eugene’s tenants spend most of their income on rent

Now that Montgomery’s proposals have been approved by city council, the city and the development team will now need to reach a legal agreement to transfer ownership and begin a due diligence period.

According to the team’s plan, they will also go through a Multiple Housing Property Tax Exemption (MUPTE) application process, which includes public engagement, a review panel and council action. The team hopes to close the property and begin construction no later than 15 months after the city has signed the transfer of ownership agreement.

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