Affordable Housing Project Opens in Beaverton, Ore.

By Erika Schnitzer, Associate EditorBeaverton, Ore.–Merlo Station Apartments, a 128-unit transit-oriented affordable housing community, opened yesterday. Developed by Washington County, Ore.-based Tualatin Valley Housing Partners (TVHP), the project is located one block from the Merlo Station MAX light rail station and approximately eight miles west of Portland.”The light rail station is the backbone of Portland’s public transportation system,” says Whit Spencer, a senior underwriter for Enterprise. “This particular site, by virtue to its short walk to the light rail station, can access the entirety of the region.”The transit-oriented nature of the development reduces residents’ dependency on cars, perhaps eliminating the need for a car altogether, explains Spencer.The development is comprised of eight three-story buildings and offers studios, one-, two-, three- and four-bedrooms. All units include full kitchens with dishwashers, washers and dryers and patios or decks. The residences range in size from 478 to 1405 sq. ft. and rents are between $190 and $945 a month. Move-ins are scheduled to begin this weekend and the development is approximately 50 percent rented. Twelve units are reserved for the developmentally disabled, 15 for the homeless or those at risk of becoming homeless. Additionally, four residences are reserved as  managers’ units.Developed on 4.3 acres of land, the project targets families earning 60 percent or less of the area’s median income. It is situated close to public transportation, schools, day car facilities, shopping, entertainment and the Tualatin Hills Park and Recreation district nature park.The project received funding from a $6.5 million Low-Income Housing Tax Credit equity investment from Enterprise Community Investments, Inc., $9.5 million in permanent financing from U.S. Bank, a $3.6 million loan subsidized by Oregon Affordable Housing Tax Credits, $2.2 million from Washington County Community Development and $700,000 from the city of Beaverton.