Deeply Affordable Housing Project Welcomes Individuals Experiencing Homelessness During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Deeply Affordable Housing Project Welcomes Individuals Experiencing Homelessness During the Coronavirus Pandemic

PORTLAND, OR - Transition Projects announced the completion of Argyle Gardens, 72 units of deeply affordable housing. Argyle Gardens is open for low-income Portlanders and those formerly experiencing homelessness. More than half of the units have been leased and programming has begun with residents. During this time of global hardship, Transition Projects is providing new units of housing for those who need it most.

Argyle Gardens is located in North Portland and features an innovative, modular design, that offers the opportunity to live independently while engaging in community-building activities and supportive services. A co-housing approach, small unit sizes, and modular construction contributed to achieving development costs that were 31% lower than typical affordable housing projects. 

Based in the thriving Kenton community, Argyle Gardens is situated close to light rail, a public park, bus lines, a vibrant downtown and commercial shopping areas. The project consists of four buildings oriented around a central outdoor space accessible for individual or community use. The largest building contains 36 studio apartment units. A large community space that includes laundry facilities and support service offices serves as a central hub and communal gathering space for all residents. Each of the three co-housing buildings are based on a single room occupancy (SRO) model and feature two six-bedroom pods, each of which has two shared bathrooms and a large kitchen.

The project was inspired by the needs of people emerging out of homelessness. Portland firm Holst Architecture designed Argyle Gardens. The design contemplates the needs of low-income renters, including entry-level workers, students, and single adults nearing or in retirement. The development team named their approach LISAH, or Low Income Single Adult Housing, which is a highly flexible approach that can be adapted for use by different populations. Additionally, Argyle Garden's modular approach works within the existing Portland zoning code and can adapt to any area that allows duplexes or additional density.

Resident Service Coordinator Wyndham McNair is starting a gardening club, hosting cooking demonstrations, and reaching out to residents to ensure that they feel supported during the transition to permanent housing. He sees his role as "a community steward, cultivating relationships and trust to ensure that residents of Argyle Gardens feel cared for as they take the next step in their lives."

Made possible by low income housing tax credits (LIHTC) from the State of Oregon, the design of this project aims for maximum impact for minimal cost. Transition Projects and the project partners involved in bringing Argyle Gardens to life believe that the concepts behind this project will play an important role in helping address our area's tremendous gap in the supply of affordable housing. 

George Devendorf, Transition Projects Executive Director, emphasizes that these concepts can be replicated in almost any community and offer, "a compelling case for innovative, low cost solutions that meet the need of the individuals we serve."

Source: Transition Projects

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