OSF breaks ground on new housing

ASHLAND, Ore — Finding affordable housing in Ashland is tough.

“Plenty of friends, definitely a time or another have struggled with finding housing, especially finding affordable housing within the city,” Nic Temple, Ashland resident, said.

While housing is in high demand across the Rogue Valley. Ashland is particularly tough with it’s variety, from college students to actors to families and retirees.

“Ashland has some of the highest housing costs of anywhere else in the valley because it’s so desirable,” Linda Reid, Housing Program Specialist with the City of Ashland, said.

It’s something Oregon Shakespeare Festival knows all too well.

“We had a difficult time when we first moved here to find a place and so I understand what that is when you are really looking for an affordable place to live,” Nataki Garrett, OSF Artistic Director, said.

This fall the organization is taking action. OSF signed a 25 year lease for a 34-unit apartment complex. It’s located just two blocks from OSF theaters on Lithia Way.

“They can walk. They have proximity. Now they’re right there. We don’t have to have the shuttle service, so it actually solves a series of things that our actors have been willing to live through because they’re dedicated to the work that we do,” Garrett said.

For years OSF has been partnering with renters around Ashland to lease about 50 apartments and rooms. In Dec. 2020 when Plaza East is expected to be complete, those rentals will open up.

“Our housing stock, especially for multi-family and rental housing is so constrained that having osf’s new 34 units is really going to help open that up for people who are looking for that niche in the rental market,” Reid said.

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