Big steps being taken to solve Rogue Valley housing crisis

SOUTHERN OREGON, —Some good news coming for those impacted by the Almeda and South Obenchain fires. The state is looking to spend hundreds of millions to help them. We’re also learning more about a new modular home project, that could play a part in addressing the housing crisis in southern Oregon.

“We had a housing crisis before we ever had a wildfire,” said state Representative Pam Marsh.

Housing, a challenge in the Rogue Valley that’s been exasperated by the Almeda and South Obenchain fires. Destroying around 2500 housing units across the Rogue Valley.

“The response after the fire was first to make sure people were housed then after we finished some stable situations, we started looking at how we rebuild the community,” said state Representative Pam Marsh.

Now the state level, Oregon is looking at distributing hundreds of millions of dollars to help with fire recovery.

“We can spend it to address housing needs, particularly of low and moderate-income individuals, we can use it to address infrastructure needs created by the fire, and in all those efforts we want to spend the money in ways that make us more resilient to future disasters,” said Alex Campbell with the Oregon Housing and Community Services.

On the state front, Oregon Housing and Community Services now wants your feedback on where to put $422-million in relief money. It was given to the state by the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development.

“Interested in hearing from individuals, particularly fire survivors anyone who has been impacted and wants to help shape how the state addresses housing,” said Campbell.

All this is happening as a Portland developer is working on something called the Mosaic Project in east Medford. The plan is to use modular units, that are constructed in a factory, that over time can become 140-housing units. The site is across the street from the Ivanko Gardens apartment complex.

“His project which will be constructed on 6 or 7 acres is Medford is pretty unique and innovative,” said Representative Marsh.

When state Representative Pam Marsh heard about the idea, she thought it was a perfect match for the Rogue Valley. She says it’s workforce housing for people who have jobs but can’t afford to pay exorbitant rent.

“We don’t get a lot of projects like this, I think it’s really exciting, the project is a way to showcase this new approach to construction using modulars, so it’s a great opportunity to crack open that marketplace and see what these units look like,” said Representative Marsh.

A survey is available on the OHCS website.

OHCS says once a draft action plan is written, Oregonians will have another opportunity to provide comments in May.

 

NBC5 News Reporter Jenna King is a Burbank native. She graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Sports Business. During her time at the U of O, she was part of the student-run television station, Duck TV. She also grew her passion for sports through interning with the PAC 12 Network. When Jenna is not in the newsroom you can find her rooting for her hometown Dodgers, exploring the outdoors, or binging on the latest Netflix release.
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