Woodland Square: An update – Hasso Hering

HASSO HERING

A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Woodland Square: An update

Written July 14th, 2013 by
One of the Woodland Square trailers looked like this on July 13.

One of the Woodland Square trailers facing Second Avenue looked like this on July 13.

At Albany’s Woodland Square trailer park, the plan is still for Innovative Housing Inc., a Portland developer of affordable housing, to turn the site into a 54-unit complex for working people. But the $10.6 million project hinges on state approval of grants and federal low-income housing tax credits, and that request is “still pending,” Julie Garver of Innovative Housing said on Sunday.

Albany’s downtown urban renewal agency, CARA, approved $1.45 million in aid for the project in 2011. Since then CARA has advanced the developer the money to buy the site at Second Avenue and Pine Street, and Innovative Housing has started demolition.

Households having to move get $5,000 in relocation help. Six remain, Garver reports, and eight have left, some to apartments and other trailer parks. One bought a house on a VA loan, using the relocation cash as a down payment.

Cleanup and demolition of the vacated trailers has been slowed by the need to deal with asbestos. “We are working to get things cleaned up ASAP,” Garver told me Sunday, “both to benefit the neighborhood and also the residents living at Woodland Square.”

What if the state again turns down the financing aid, as it did last year? If the housing project does not proceed, CARA probably will take ownership of the site and try to develop it some other way. (hh)



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