Community Development Partners and Northwest Oregon Housing Authority Start Construction of New Affordable Housing Development in St. Helens
November 10, 2021
St. Helens, OR (November 10, 2021) — Community Development Partners (CDP) and the Northwest Oregon Housing Authority (NOHA) announced today the start of construction of St. Helens’ newest housing community, Broadleaf Arbor. Located at 2250 Gable Road at the intersection of Gable Road and Columbia River Highway, Broadleaf Arbor is a 16-acre, 239-unit affordable housing development and intergenerational community, connecting working adults, families and seniors.
“Affordable housing coupled with community outreach and services improves our new residents’ chance for a productive and happy life,” said Nina Reed, Board Chair of NOHA. “I want to thank State Senator Betsy Johnson, Executive Director Margaret Salazar from OHCS and the Columbia County Board of Commissioners for the opportunity to bring NOHA’s mission to St. Helens. I also want to thank the City of St. Helens and the entire community for their continued support of this project. There are endless layers and complexities when bringing projects like Broadleaf Arbor to life, and if it wasn’t for the entire team and every person involved, we wouldn’t be where we are today, celebrating this project and building a better St. Helens.”
“Stable, affordable, accessible housing is the foundation of raising a family,” said Henry Heimuller, Columbia County Commissioner and NOHA Board Member. “A safe housing environment that provides access to jobs, education, healthcare and shopping, while identifying and supporting the individual needs of residents and the entire community, is why we need developments like Broadleaf Arbor in Columbia County.”
“We’ve spent the last two years, side by side with NOHA, understanding the needs of the St. Helens community with the goal of creating an asset for the city, a place where households of all ages can live together and thrive,” shared Eric Paine, CEO of Community Development Partners. “The need for affordable workforce and supportive housing in St. Helens and in our region continues to outpace supply, and we are honored to be a part of the solution through a long-term investment in the community.”
This new development is critical to addressing the region’s need for affordable housing and when completed Broadleaf Arbor will provide 239 one-, two- and three-bedroom homes to individuals and families earning 30%-60% of the area median income ($29,010-$58,020 for a family of four). The program is comprised of 11 buildings, including walk-up style apartment buildings, townhomes, a senior housing building and a central community and resident services building. On-site amenities will include common area gathering spaces, such as a teaching kitchen and library, an expansive lawn and playground, car parking and bike storage, and a trail system along the existing wetlands.
Broadleaf Arbor is being co-developed and co-sponsored by CDP and NOHA and is financially made possible with 4% Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) and a $13M award from Oregon Housing and Community Services’ (OHCS) Local Innovation Fast Track (LIFT) program. Additional funding was received through an Energy Provider Contribution from Columbia River Public Utility District.
“The mission of OHCS is to provide stable and affordable housing to Oregonians so they can have the opportunity to pursue prosperity and live free from poverty,” said Margaret Salazar, executive director at OHCS. “We are proud to help fund a local project like Broadleaf Arbor that gives the people of St. Helens a way to achieve those opportunities. With the development of Broadleaf Arbor, we are more than halfway to meeting our Statewide Housing Plan goal of funding 25,000 affordable homes in five years.”
“When this project was first described to me, I knew it was an extraordinary opportunity for the region,” said State Senator Betsy Johnson, who has been a fierce supporter of this project and the development of affordable housing across the state. “This is a new gold standard in our community and in the region.”
Broadleaf Arbor is uniquely designed as a CDP Community For All Ages—an intentional community where people of all ages can live, work and play together with the essential services and amenities needed to thrive. EngAGE Northwest (EngAGE) will be the lead services provider, hosting on-site wellness and creativity programs that are specifically designed to foster intergenerational connection and community building. In addition to EngAGE, a community-wide collaboration of service providers including Latino Network, Community Action Team, St. Helens Senior Center, Columbia Pacific Food Bank and Columbia Community Mental Health will work to connect residents to services that support family stability through educational and employment programs that include financial stability, school enrollment and food assistance.
“EngAGE is excited to bring intergenerational programming to this pioneering Community For All Ages development,” said Maria Rojo de Steffey, Regional Director of EngAGE Northwest. “For multiple decades we have been providing intergenerational programming that has improved the lives of elders and families. We look forward to bringing that experience to Broadleaf Arbor.”
Broadleaf Arbor is being co-developed by CDP and NOHA, which is led by Interim Director, James Evans. Broadleaf Arbor was designed by MWA Architects and is being built by LMC Construction. PSU’s Center for Public Interest Design (CPID) conducted pre-development community engagement and outreach. The project will be managed by Guardian Real Estate Services. Construction began August 2021 and is ongoing. The first building is expected to be completed Fall 2022.