Affordable housing is in high demand

MEDFORD, Ore – Medford’s newest affordable housing complex is nearly complete.

Sixty four families are being chosen by lottery this week to earn their spot at Newbridge Place in west Medford. Just over 800 applications were filed for the 64-unit complex. The Housing Authority of Jackson County is hoping new residents will be able to move in to Nov. 1.

It’s yet another example of the demand for affordable housing in the Rogue Valley. While lottery winners will soon be preparing to move, the waiting list just keeps growing.

“It’s impossible, especially on one income. Even if you’re working 40 hours per week,” Kyrie Maple, resident, said.

Medford mom Kyrie Maple has been living in affordable housing since March. She’s one of thousands doing so in the Rogue Valley.

“Without affordable housing there are members of our community that wouldn’t have a place to live,” Cara Carter, Housing Authority of Jackson County, said.

The demand is so high for units like the Newbridge Place Complex, the housing authority had to hold a lottery. The rest are on the waiting list.

“We try to make it as streamlined as possible, but there still could be five or six different applications someone would have to fill out in order to get on all of the lists and the programs they qualify for,” Carter said.

Carter says waiting lists in the valley could have you on standby one to four years. But Carter says new projects are in the works.

“We actually have a new project that’s under construction in Central Point, called Creekside Apartments and we look forward to having that probably early or late spring of 2020,” Carter said.

While no one wants to wait for housing, Maple says it’s an all too common reality.

“My next door neighbor just got hers after five years of waiting, so five years is a long time to be on a waiting list,” Maple said.

The city of Medford is also working on building more affordable housing by encouraging new construction. One way the city says it’s doing that is by recently passing a regulation to allow for smaller, single family detached homes, commonly referred to as cluster housing.

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