Orchards Build to Bear Fruit for Habitat Families


This summer, Habitat will kickoff a ten-home new construction build site on Portland’s central eastside.

Heather Gramp, Foundation and Government Relations Manager
The project is located at 420 SE 106th Avenue, a centrally located site that had practical appeal to many prospective Habitat home buyers. There is great access not only to Max and TriMet, but also Multnomah County Library’s beautiful new Midland Branch, and the East Portland Community Center with its fabulous indoor pool/water park, popular on rainy Saturdays. In addition, families will be able to easily access everyday needs with plenty of nearby options for groceries, shopping, health and other services.
Despite this hive of activity, the street is low-key and quiet, ideal for families. Habitat kids will undoubtedly be overjoyed to take advantage of the nearly 50 acres of parks located within a mile of the parcel, including soccer and softball fields, playgrounds, picnic tables, a dog park, a water feature for hot summer days and a community garden. With four schools located within a mile of their future homes (one just four blocks away), some Habitat kids may choose to walk or bike to school.
Future Habitat homeowners will continue to benefit from the fact that Orchards lies in or near to the Gateway Urban Renewal Area, Gateway Regional Center plan area, and other planning and project areas. For example, as part of the City’s East Portland Parks Initiative, nearby parks are slated for new playground equipment, a bike skills area and new plantings in 2012. Across departments, the City has also firmly established a vision of a dense, pedestrian friendly environment, and plans to create village centers to complement existing big box retail.
Already this spring, eight qualified families were selected into the homeownership program and matched with the Orchards site. These families share the familiar Habitat story: they are hardworking people employed as housekeepers, janitors, home health care providers, and cooks, earning an average family income of $30,221 per year. Six families are headed by single parents, and six are families of color. Two families will leave behind severely substandard homes, including one living in a moldy mobile home that is literally falling apart around them. Two families include elder family members, and one a disabled family member in need of an ADA accessible home. Habitat is proud to have outreached and identified four families that already live in the area and won’t need to change schools, thus eliminating academic and social disruption for children.
Look for more information on these compelling and highly motivated families – and how the work progresses at Orchards – in the months to come. If the Orchards build excites you, please note that we are still looking for home sponsors, in-kind partners, and Team Builders, and will welcome site volunteers starting in August 2012.
Ten well-qualified, very grateful families will buy these homes with a 0%-interest mortgage in August 2013. Please join us in making the dream of homeownership come true for ten more Habitat families!

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