Passive, Affordable Housing in Oregon
The Orchards at Orenco, www.reachcdc.com, a new, affordable 57-unit development located at the Orenco Station in Hillsboro, Ore., opened recently, and the first phase is a large multifamily building built to passive house energy standards in North America.
Throughout the past 15 years, several thousand market-rate housing units have been developed in and around Orenco Station in Hillsboro, Ore., a nationally recognized model of new urbanism.
Orenco Station was listed on CNN Money Magazine’s list of “Best Places to Live in 2010” for cities with populations between 50,000 and 300,000. The growth, however, has focused on market-rate and high-end luxury living. None of the new units have been affordable to workers with incomes under approximately $30,000 a year.
According to a recent report published by the Urban Institute, Washington County faces the same shortage of affordable housing that every county in the United States confronts. Not a single county in the country can fill 100% of its low-income population’s need for affordable housing.
Orchards is helping to fill this gap in Oregon by offering an affordable, comprehensive model of living, using transit-oriented design, green building technology, and keeping energy costs extremely low.
Orchards is offered to residents earning approximately 50% of median family income or approximately $30,000 for a single-person household. Eight of the units are available to those earning 30% of median family income. Rents range from $611 to $733 a month.
As a large multifamily building built to passive house energy standards in North America, tenants will receive unprecedented savings on their energy bills, achieving nearly 90% energy reduction for heat usage, and 60-70% for overall energy use as compared to a LEED Certified building.
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