A home can symbolize many things, but give it a name like “Independence Place” and it can take on a whole new meaning for two area families. Over the last several months, Housing Works has been rehabilitating a previously bank-owned duplex on 27th Street in Redmond. “It used to look like many other foreclosed homes – dead landscaping, missing doors and fixtures, half-completed remodeling projects that owners reluctantly walked away from,” said Keith Wooden, Development Director for Housing Works. “With this duplex, we’re tackling two recession-created problems; foreclosures and homelessness.”
The rehabilitation of the property will be paid for with Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) money made available from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). This is the second of three awards that Housing Works has obtained for developing supportive housing options which are targeted at specific socio-economic problems in our area.
“Blighted, abandoned properties have sprouted up in our community much like the weeds in their own front yards,” said Cyndy Cook, Executive Director or Housing Works. “If you’ve ever tried to vanquish stubborn dandelions,” continued Cook, “you know that it takes time and attention.”
Cook’s team has taken this approach before, most recently at Centennial Point in Bend, another NSP project. “If we can help people – families, one by one – achieve their goals of independence, then we are accomplishing OUR goal,” said Cook. She contends that the ripple effect of turning foreclosed properties into well-kept, occupied homes will strengthen the surrounding community by raising adjacent property values, curb appeal, and overall livability.
They settled on the name “Independence Place” because it works two-fold, explained Cook. “Through the affordable housing and the supportive services that our partner, Pfeifer & Associates, will provide, families will gain their financial independence. Along with that, we are offering these units to eligible residents with a Veteran-preference – those folks that fought and sacrificed for the very principles that our country was founded on. Their applications will be weighted for their military service.”
“We missed our Fourth of July completion date,” chuckled Wooden referring to the name, “but I’m willing to celebrate a second Independence Day.”
A ribbon-cutting ceremony is set for Tuesday, July 26th at 12 p.m. Independence Place is located at 1251 SW 27th Street. Food and refreshments will be served.