Construction of new affordable housing complex to begin this summer
by: Staff photo, The former Hillsdale Terrace affordable housing complex has been razed to make way for the construction of 122 new units; just one part of the planned Stephens Creek Crossing.

MULTNOMAH - Work is underway at the site of the former Hillsdale Terrace to prep for the construction of 122 units of affordable housing beginning this August.

Located at 6775 S.W. 26th Ave. between the Multnomah and Hillsdale neighborhoods, the 60-unit housing complex was first completed in 1968 on the six-acre, bowl-like property. In the decades since, Hillsdale Terrace has been plagued with erosion, mold and mildew problems; isolated from the surrounding community; and inaccessible to those with mobility challenges.

Its redevelopment was made possible thanks to an $18.5 million HOPE VI Public Housing Revitalization Grant awarded to affordable housing provider Home Forward - formerly known as the Housing Authority of Portland - by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in May 2011.

Hillsdale Terrace's replacement is scheduled to be ready for occupancy by February 2014. It will open as 'Stephens Creek Crossing,' named for the creek whose headwaters can be found on the site. The creek is named after early Portland settler Thomas Fulton Stephens.

R and H Construction and Colas Construction have partnered to serve as general contractor on the redevelopment. Relocation was completed in January, and the property was used for police and fire training before its demolition in April.

Once they are completed, Stephens Creek Crossing's units will comply with Energy Star standards, and plans for an energy-efficient site include the installation of bioswales and cisterns for stormwater management as well as a geothermal 'heat exchange' heating and cooling system.

In addition to 122 apartments, Stephens Creek Crossing will encompass a seven-unit Habitat for Humanity project nearby on Southwest Capitol Hill Road. Near the entrance of the complex, at the corner of Southwest Capitol Highway and Southwest 26th Avenue, will be a new 6,000-square-foot Children's Center, which will include a Head Start program run by Neighborhood House. Home Forward will also pair with neighboring Hillsdale Community Church - UCC to maintain community gardens.

In addition to the HOPE VI grant, Home Forward obtained funding for the project from Low-Income Housing Tax Credits and proceeds from the sale of its scattered site portfolio.

Thirty-five local organizations also submitted letters of support along with matching funds. The redevelopment's total budget, according to Home Forward, is $52.8 million, $30.3 million of which is budgeted for construction.

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