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More than $73 million to fund over 600 affordable homes
SALEM, Ore. — Oregon Housing and Community Services announced awards of more than $73.33 million for the construction of 625 affordable homes in wildfire-affected counties across the state. The Oregon Housing Stability Council (HSC) awarded the latest rounds of program funding during their past meetings. Most of the funding will go toward development of rental housing, and some will go toward homeownership.
These awards will add needed affordable housing supply in the counties of the state affected by wildfires, including the 2020 Labor Day Fires that burned 1 million acres. More than 4,000 homes were destroyed, including more than 1,700 manufactured homes in 20 manufactured home parks.
More than $7 million in funding will go to convert the Talent Mobile Estates into a resident-owned cooperative. The manufactured dwelling park was destroyed during the 2020 Almeda Fire in Jackson County, displacing 89 families. Many of the residents were Latino/a/x families who worked in agriculture and other low-wage service jobs. They have been displaced from their community for the past 20 months. The Phoenix-Talent School District reported that nearly 40% of its students lost their homes to the fire, causing a significant social, emotional and economic disruption. CASA of Oregon will work with its partner, Coalición Fortaleza, to engage residents displaced from the area as they develop the project.
“I’ve been spending a lot of time in Southern Oregon and the Latinx community has been disproportionately affected,” said HSC Councilmember Gerard Sandoval, PhD. “This is a perfect type of project that is needed because it has strong community ties and is resident-owned.”
The council also awarded funding to Marion County to buy 15 acres of land for future development of new affordable homes. The site has the potential to establish a mix of two- to-four-bedroom single-family homes for wildfire survivors, seniors and workforce housing in the Santiam Canyon.
“Currently, we have around 300 households in Marion County who don’t have a place to call home,” said Marion County Commissioner Danielle Bethell. “This $1.7 million is not just going to purchase land; it’s going to give us the opportunity to create affordable, long-term housing that works for this community that was devastated by the wildfires.”
Below is a list of the 10 affordable housing developments awarded funding in Clackamas, Jackson, Marion and Lincoln counties.
Media Contact:Delia Hernández
Business Oregon has awarded 36 seismic rehabilitation grants this week for an overall 2022 award total of $80,851,799 in the eighth round of funding from the Seismic Rehabilitation Grant Program. These grants provide funding for improvements to make the buildings that communities depend on in the face of a seismic disaster stronger and safer.
The Seismic Rehabilitation Grant Program is a competitive grant program from the state of Oregon that provides funding for the seismic rehabilitation of critical public buildings, particularly public schools and emergency services facilities. It is one of the infrastructure programs that Business Oregon administers to create livable and prosperous communities, in addition to the agency’s business development work.
Public K‐12 school districts, community colleges, and education service districts are eligible for this grant program. For emergency services facilities, the emphasis is on first responder buildings including hospital buildings with acute inpatient care facilities, fire stations, police stations, sheriff's offices, and 9‐1‐1 centers.
This year’s grants bring the award total to 299 schools and 133 emergency services buildings that have been awarded funding for improvements since the program’s first awards in 2009. The program was created by the Oregon Legislature in 2005 and transferred to Business Oregon in 2014.
The current round of projects awarded includes:
School Buildings // $59,423,322
Centennial SD – Powell Butte Elem $2,500,000
Clatskanie SD – Clatskanie Elem Gym $2,182,945
Creswell SD – Creswell HS Gym $2,499,455
Eagle Point SD – Eagle Point HS Gym $2,498,235
Falls City SD – Falls City HS Gym $2,495,060
Glendale SD – Glendale JH and HS Gym $2,499,915
Joseph SD – Joseph Charter School $2,475,806
Klamath County SD – Keno Elem $2,409,410
La Grande SD – La Grande HS Auditorium $2,498,220
Lincoln County SD – Yaquina View Elem $2,497,265
Medford SD – Jacksonville Elem $2,500,000
Monument SD – Monument HS Building $2,499,945
Mount Angel SD – Mt. Angel MS Gym $2,494,755
Ontario SD – Ontario HS Gym $2,492,630
Portland Public Schools – Benson HS Gym $2,500,000
Prairie City SD – Prairie City HS Classroom Bldg. $2,500,000
Redmond SD – John Tuck Elem Gym $2,499,440
Reedsport SD – Reedsport Charter School Classrooms $2,497,880
Riddle SD – Riddle HS Classrooms $2,465,470
Roseburg Public Schools – Eastwood Elem Multi-purpose Gym $2,497,895
Scio SD – Scio HS Classroom Wing $2,498,130
Sutherlin SD – Sutherlin MS Classrooms $2,493,395
Three Rivers SD – Evergreen Elem Gym & Cafeteria $2,499,455
Umatilla SD – Clara Brownell MS Gym & Classrooms $2,428,016
Emergency Services // $21,428,477
Cannon Beach Fire District – Main Fire Station $1,926,881
City of Coquille – Coquille Fire Station 1 $2,495,305
Crook County Fire & Rescue – Main Fire Station $2,497,449
Halsey-Shedd Rural Fire District – Peoria Fire Station $1,894,420
Lookingglass Rural Fire Protection Dist. – Lookingglass Station $2,492,350
City of Milwaukie – Public Safety Building $1,233,817
North Bay Rural Fire Protection Dist. – Fire Station 1 $859,753
City of Seaside – Seaside Main Fire Station $1,707,595
City of Seaside – Seaside Police Station $1,627,897
Sweet Home Fire & Ambulance Dist. – Statin 22 (Foster Station) $596,620
Vernonia Rural Fire Protection District – Station 5 $2,330,610
Wolf Creek Rural Fire Protection District – Wolf Creek Station $1,765,780
More information on the program and its eligibility is available on Business Oregon’s website.
Salem, OR—Affordable housing, drinking water improvements, schools, and earthquake readiness are just a few of the projects that will be funded thanks to Oregon State Treasury’s recent $418 million General Obligation (GO) bond sale on behalf of the state. The recovery of Lottery sales permitted a long-awaited sale of $218 million bonds for the state’s Lottery Program, which will fund a variety of projects including park improvements, building renovations and veteran housing programs. Lasty, an $85 million bond sale for the Oregon Housing Single-Family Mortgage Program will provide support for existing and newly originated Mortgage Loans.
“Bonds are an effective tool that we use to support critical capital projects and invest in Oregon,” said Treasurer Tobias Read. “Bond funded projects encourage economic development, enhance sustainability, address critical needs including better access to education, housing and services for wellness and preserve our environment. Our strong stewardship of financial resources permits us to invest in building stronger and healthier communities for Oregonians over the long-run, and that is good for everyone.”
Treasury’s Debt Management team wrapped up the spring general obligation bond sale in the middle of May after securing low-cost financing in a volatile market environment. The sale includes approximately $200 million in tax-exempt general obligation bond proceeds for approximately twenty-one projects from ten different state government entities. Projects include capital improvements at the Oregon School for the Deaf, improvements to Salem’s drinking water system, renovations and accessibility improvements to judicial buildings and the state capitol, and upgrades to various information systems. Additionally, $66 million will fund grant program bonds for implementing seismic upgrades for school districts and emergency services buildings.
Another $175 million of taxable Sustainability Bonds will fund affordable and permanent supportive housing throughout the state, including new home construction and housing for people experiencing chronic homelessness. This was the sixth issuance of sustainability bonds by Oregon Treasury with proceeds dedicated to affordable housing.
The Lottery Bond transaction was priced on April 12, 2022 and was officially closed on May 10, 2022. The sale included approximately $94 million in tax-exempt bonds and $124 million in taxable bonds. The projects funded included upgrades to the Eugene Family YMCA facility, Sherwood Pedestrian/Bike Bridge, Gradin Community Sports Park and various building renovations.
“The market continues to evolve as the pandemic wanes. With the rise in interest rates as the Federal Reserve seeks to curb inflation, Treasury staff must remain diligent to ensure that the state maintains its high credit profile and broaden its investor outreach to achieve favorable financing results,” said Jacqueline Knights, Director of Debt Management at Oregon State Treasury. “Despite record withdrawal of funds from the municipal market, the State’s bonds saw significant investor demand, which translates to better pricing – even under volatile market conditions.”
In advance of the spring bond sales, Oregon Treasury received updated General Obligation bond ratings from Standard and Poor’s, Fitch Ratings, and Moody’s Investors Services. In reports published by the three firms, Oregon maintained its respective AA+/AA+/Aa1 ratings along with a stable outlook – a welcome confirmation of the state’s fiscal management. Additionally, the State’s Lottery Program received a confirmation of stability from Moody’s Investors Services and Standard and Poor’s, with ratings of Aa2/AAA respectively. Lastly, Oregon Housing and Community Services Department received a rating of Aa2 for the Single-Family Mortgage Revenue Bonds. Moody’s also maintains the Aa2 ratings on all outstanding long-term parity debt issued under the Mortgage Revenue Bond Indenture with a stable rating outlook.
The Single-Family Mortgage Bonds transaction was priced on April 5, 2022 and was officially closed on April 27,2022. The sale included approximately $78 million in tax-exempt bonds and $7 million taxable bonds. The proceeds will be used to refund outstanding Oregon Housing and Community Services Department Mortgage Revenue bonds leading to a decrease in department costs. They will also be used to purchase mortgage loans that provide financing for existing, or newly constructed single-family residences.
Treasury has been active in issuing debt for developers who create affordable housing statewide as well as non-profits such as health care institutions. For the calendar year to date, Treasury has worked with our Oregon Housing partners and developers to close fifteen deals totaling $256 million for affordable housing projects across the State.
New Projects Funded by Recently-Sold State Lottery Bonds
Project Agency/Grantee Project Summary Estimated Bond Proceeds(1)
2022 A Dept of Admin. Services Center for Hope and Safety Hope Plaza $7,500,000
2022 A Dept of Admin. Services Gradin Community Sports Park 2,000,000
2022 A Dept of Admin. Services Oregon Coast Aquarium Indoor Gallery Improvements 5,000,000
2022 A Dept of Admin. Services Parrott Creek Child & Family Services Building Renovation 3,500,000
2022 A Dept of Admin. Services Phoenix Government and Public Safety Center 13,600,000
2022 A Dept of Admin. Services Port of Cascade Locks Business Park Expansion 2,400,000
2022 A Dept of Admin. Services Jefferson County Health and Wellness Center 5,400,000
2022 A Business Oregon County Fair Capital Improvements 5,000,000
2022 A Dept of Transportation Sherwood Pedestrian/Bike Bridge 4,000,000
2022 A Dept of Veteran Affairs YMCA Veterans’ Affordable Housing 6,000,000
2022 A Parks & Recreation Dept. Main Street Revitalization Grant Program 5,000,000
2022 A Water Resources Dept. Deschutes Basin Board of Control Piping 10,000,000
2022 A Water Resources Dept. Wallowa Lake Dam Rehabilitation 14,000,000
2022 A Water Resources Dept. Water Development Projects 15,000,000
2022 A Water Resources Dept. Big Creek Dams Replacement 4,000,000
2022A Total $102,400,000
2022 B Dept of Admin. Services Eugene Family YMCA Facility $15,000,000
2022 B Business Oregon Levee Grant Program 15,000,000
2022 B Business Oregon Brownfields Redevelopment Fund 10,000,000
2022 B Business Oregon Special Public Works Fund 50,000,000
2022 B Housing & Comm. Services Wildfire Affordable Housing Supply & Land Acquisition 25,000,000
2022B Total $115,000,000
New Projects Funded by Recently-Sold State GO Bonds
Series Project Agency Project Name Amount of Bond Proceeds
2022 Series A Dept. of Administrative Services Executive Building Interior & Seismic Renovations $16,000,000
2022 Series A Dept. of Administrative Services North Valley Complex Infrastructure Upgrades/Tenant Improvement 30,000,000
2022 Series A Dept. of Administrative Services Portland State Office Building Improvements 3,500,000
2022 Series A Dept. of Revenue Electronic Valuation Information System (ELVIS) 2,000,000
2022 Series A Oregon Military Department Resiliency Grant Fund 5,000,000
2022 Series A Oregon State Police Central Point Office Expansion 23,772,889
2022 Series A Oregon Youth Authority Camp Riverbend Dorm Renovation 1,500,000
2022 Series A Oregon Youth Authority Control Room Renovations 895,000
2022 Series A Oregon Youth Authority JJIS IT System Modernization 4,756,531
2022 Series A Oregon Youth Authority MacLaren Infirmary and Pharmacy Renovation & Expansion 979,000
2022 Series A Oregon Youth Authority MacLaren West Cottages Renovations 4,937,800
2022 Series A Oregon Youth Authority Rogue Valley Facility Improvements 2,443,900
2022 Series A Oregon Youth Authority Tillamook Dorm Renovation 2,000,000
2022 Series A Oregon Health Authority OSH Salem Well Water Treatment Facility 2,395,650
2022 Series A Dept. of Education Oregon School for the Deaf ADA Restrooms 1,024,625
2022 Series A Dept. of Education Oregon School for the Deaf Fire Alarm System Replacement 3,091,923
2022 Series A Dept. of Education Oregon School for the Deaf Windows Upgrade 1,383,452
2022 Series A Oregon Parks & Recreation Department State Parks Capital Improvement and Renewal 25,000,000
2022 Series A Dept. of Fish and Wildlife Capital Improvement and Renewal 5,000,000
2022 Series A Oregon Liquor Control Commission Liquor Warehouse Land & Building 52,537,265
2022 Series A Oregon Liquor Control Commission Liquor Warehouse Management IT System 8,500,000
2022 Series B Oregon Housing and Community Services Department LIFT/Permanent Supportive Housing Programs 175,000,000
2022 Series C Oregon Business Development Department Seismic Rehabilitation Grants – Schools 55,000,000
2022 Series C Oregon Business Development Department Seismic Rehabilitation Grants – Emergency Services Buildings 20,825,000
New Projects Funded by Recently-Sold Conduit Revenue Bonds
Series Project Agency Project Name Amount of Bond Proceeds
2022A Housing & Community Services Dept. Fremont Manor Apartments $5,400,000
2022B Housing & Community Services Dept. Kentonwood Dimensions Apartments 4,037,000
2022C Housing & Community Services Dept. Stillwater Crossing Apartments 3,900,000
2022D Housing & Community Services Dept. The Canopy Apartments at Powell 36,500,000
2022E Housing & Community Services Dept. Garden Grove Apartments 6,330,000
2022F Housing & Community Services Dept. Aloha Family Housing Project 16,680,000
2022G Housing & Community Services Dept. Nueva Esperanza Apartments 26,359,717
2022H Housing & Community Services Dept. Good Shepherd Village 31,425,000
2022I Housing & Community Services Dept. Oregon 4 Apartment Projects 23,895,104
2022J Housing & Community Services Dept. Minnesota Place Apartments Project 12,987,074
2022K Housing & Community Services Dept. Moorehouse Apartments Project 7,870,000
2022L Housing & Community Services Dept. Tigard Senior Housing 13,890,000
2022M Housing & Community Services Dept. 148th Apartments 15,500,000
2022O Housing & Community Services Dept. Shore Pines at Munsel Creek Apartments 14,302,000
2022Q Housing & Community Services Dept. Maple Apartments 37,000,000
Statewide, OR—The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has awarded $1.3M in grant funding to 20 organizations and county and tribal governments across the state to work on projects related to smoke management. The 2022 Smoke Management Grants were made available as part of Senate Bill 762 (2021) , which promotes wildfire preparedness by creating fire-adapted communities, developing safe and effective wildfire and smoke responses and increasing the resiliency of Oregon’s landscape.
Salem, OR—State of Oregon Enterprise Information Services announced earning the Best in Enterprise Resilience ™ Certification after undergoing a rigorous evaluation of its readiness, responsiveness and resilience when confronted with critical events including IT disruptions, natural and manmade disasters, supply chain interruption and other incidents that impact operations, assets and resources.
KGW covers Oregon State Treasury's new resiliency building. For more information please click the article link below.
Salem, OR—Today at the State Land Board meeting, Governor Kate Brown, Secretary of State Shemia Fagan, Treasurer Tobias Read, and the Department of State Lands and the Elliott State Research Forest Advisory Committee held a bill signing ceremony for SB 1546, which creates the Elliott State Research Forest in collaboration with Oregon State University and their College of Forestry.
The Oregon State Treasury is moving into a newly constructed structure designed to withstand every disaster the designers could conjure.
SALEM, Ore. — A giant earthquake. A huge flood. Wildfires followed by choking smoke. An ice storm that knocks out the power for days. Four years ago, a group of employees at the Oregon State Treasury sat down and compiled a list of every conceivable disaster that could befall a government building. And last month, the Treasury, which is responsible for paying government employees in Oregon, unveiled its answer: a new two-story headquarters. It is a Super Building inspired by those thoughts of calamity. It is an office for our fragile times.
The building, which took less than two years to complete, is barely attached to the ground — it sits on what are called base isolators, capable of reducing the violent shaking of an earthquake by as much as 75 percent. The building can go entirely off the grid — “full island mode,” said one employee — with a backup battery, backup diesel generator and backup water and sewage systems. In case of civil unrest, the building’s large windows, designed to maximize natural light, are made of “vandal-resistant glass.”
“Regardless of what’s happening in the world around us, no matter how many natural disasters, our employees will want to come to work and deliver services to Oregonians,” said Byron Williams, the chief administrative officer of the Treasury, who led the conception and construction of the project.
The Oregon building is part of a larger trend toward disaster-resistant buildings, spurred by the bouts of extreme weather, often linked to climate change, that have haunted residents from California to Florida. It is one of the most extreme examples of a desire for safety, continuity and peace of mind achieved through architecture and engineering.
Mr. Williams, earnest and intense, is obsessively devoted to mitigating disasters. Oregon, like other parts of the West Coast, has had many in recent years, including wildfires, ice storms and of course the coronavirus pandemic. Just in case his employees are marooned in the building after a disaster, Mr. Williams bought hundreds of military ready-to-eat meals that are now stored in giant file cabinets.
The Treasury did not have a pandemic on its initial list, Mr. Williams conceded during a tour of the building. Even so, the ventilation system, like that of a hospital operating room, is capable of pumping out indoor air and entirely replacing it with fresh outside air at a rate of one full cycle every 30 minutes, helping to mitigate virus transmission.
Evan Reis, a California-based engineer and an expert on resilient buildings, said he was unaware of any other office building in the United States that was designed to withstand so many different natural disasters.
“Sure, there must be some kind of military facility, a bunker somewhere,” said Mr. Reis, who has studied the Oregon project but was not involved in it. “But I can’t think of any that have gone to this level of multi-hazard protection.”
In his advocacy work, Mr. Reis uses the building as an example of a structure that achieves two things at once, energy efficiency and resilience. The Treasury does not expect to be paying any electricity bills: Equipped with banks of solar panels and high levels of insulation, the building produces more electricity than it consumes.
With plenty of natural light entering the space during the day, the building’s lighting system uses half the energy of a typical building, according to Chris Lowen, who oversaw the installation of the mechanical, electrical, plumbing and ventilation systems.
And on the resilience side, the building serves as a reminder that building codes in places like California, Oregon and Washington are only designed to save lives; many buildings and homes will probably be unusable after a large earthquake. The Treasury headquarters, on the other hand, is expected to function as soon as the shaking stops.
The contrast between the old Treasury offices and the new headquarters could hardly be more stark.
The former offices were located two miles away on the Capitol Mall, a phalanx of hulking white marble buildings constructed during the Great Depression. It is a spot meant to convey government grandeur and elegance: In the spring, rows of cherry trees erupt with a riot of pink blossoms framed by the white marble facades glinting in the sunshine.
The new Treasury building, by contrast, sits behind a Denny’s parking lot and a chain hotel near the freeway. It might be mistaken for an insurance office.
But in practical terms — and practicality was the overriding driver of this project — the move to the new building might be compared to trading in a motorcycle for an armored car.
The Capitol building is widely recognized as ill-conceived for an earthquake. A 2013 report did not mince words.
“The Capitol has serious seismic problems,” the report said. “If a major earthquake strikes, the Capitol will likely be destroyed and lives lost.”
Although some government buildings in Salem have been retrofitted for seismic safety, most were constructed before 1993, when Oregon changed its building codes to take into account the threat of the Big One. Those buildings are considered particularly vulnerable.
The old Treasury offices faced more than just earthquake risk. The computer servers that processed checks for millions of Oregonians were located beneath the building’s main water lines. Technicians once had to hold buckets above the computers when the pipes sprang a leak. Smoke from nearby wildfires was so intense several summers ago that workers scooped out ash that had accumulated in the filters of the air-conditioning system.
Officials were informed that remodeling the old office would cost $10 million, prompting the decision in 2018 to build a new headquarters.
Those involved in the project say they are bracing for criticism that the new building may be excessive. “On the surface, people are looking at it and saying, ‘It’s too shiny, it’s too nice,’” said Steve Freeburg, a Salem real estate developer who owns the building. Under the terms of a deal with the Treasury, he is leasing it to the state for several decades.
“This is built for a totally different purpose,” Mr. Freeburg said.
Mr. Freeburg paid about $31.5 million to construct the building, with its 35,805 square feet of office space — more than twice the cost of a conventional office building of the same size. The Treasury will pay slightly more than $2.5 million in rent each year.
Mr. Williams, the Treasury official, says that in addition to zero electricity costs, the main justification for the relatively high rent is that the work of the Treasury will be able to continue unimpeded during and after a disaster. In addition to the paychecks of firefighters, police officers, teachers and a raft of other government employees, the Treasury processes unemployment benefits, food stamps, Medicare payment and state pensions.
“If our building goes down, we just made a statewide disaster,” Mr. Williams said.
Engineers say they have addressed as many risks to the building as technology allows.
For earthquake risk, the building’s base isolators essentially decouple the building from its foundation. Like an ice cube on a plate, the building would remain relatively steady while the ground beneath it shakes. A similar system is in use in Apple’s headquarters, the San Francisco City Hall and thousands of buildings in Japan.
For an age of increasingly large wildfires, engineers installed noncombustible siding and an air filtration system, separate from the heating and cooling system, that can entirely shut off outside air to seal the building from wildfire smoke.
For flood risk, a perennial concern in the Willamette Valley, engineers built the building several feet above the level at which there is a one-in-500 chance of flooding each year.
And to guard against tap water contamination — as happened during an algae bloom at a reservoir serving Salem several years ago — the building will use its own 100-foot-deep well as a backup. An emergency septic tank is available if the municipal sewage system becomes unusable.
In recent years, as disasters have seemed both more frequent and less predictable, planning for the worst has required a lot more contingencies. But Mr. Williams seems to have answers for every eventuality.
Quizzed about internet service during a disaster, he mentioned a host of backups: two separate high-speed internet cables that link to a government data center; another connection that goes through a private internet provider; a contract with a company that will provide two mobile trailers with satellite dishes when needed; and a bunch of satellite phones in the office.
And if all that does not work? Then there is a backup to the backup to the backup, a spot on the roof reserved for an old-fashioned radio antenna.
“The worst-case scenario,” Mr. Williams said, “is that I’m sending email over ham radio.”
A PDF of this article, which includes images, is provided below.