When the City of Woodbury set out to create more affordable living options for its residents, it turned to non-profit developer CommonBond Communities, and CommonBond turned to the Washington County HRA.
“Woodbury needed not just affordable housing, but housing that was accommodating to households with physical limitations,” says CommonBond’s Andrew Michaelson.
“We also wanted to ensure that the project was attractive to the broader market. We worked with architect firm Miller Hanson Partners, to make sure that the Views fit within the surrounding feel but had its own distinctive presence,” says Michaelson.
The color palette and materials they selected matched the surrounding buildings, while a copper-clad tower made the new building distinctive.
The end result is a beautiful addition to the Woodbury area that is also highly adaptable. All 45 apartments in the Views can be easily converted to fully-accessible units for residents with physical limitations.
The complex is located within walking distance of shopping and dining and offers an easy commute to many of Washington County’s biggest employers.
To qualify for an apartment at the Views, an individual must earn no more than $35,000 a year, $50,000 for a family of four.
“These are pretty typical numbers for a lot of Washington County workers,” says Barbara Dacy, executive director of the Washington County HRA.
“Young teachers, social workers, and entry-level public service employees are struggling to find affordable housing in Washington County.”
“High-end, luxury rentals are simply out of reach for these folks. But these are exactly the kind of people that communities want to retain. We’re bridging a pretty important gap. These developments allow workers to live in our communities and support our local economies.”
Without the expert help provided by the HRA, the project may not have happened at all.
“The HRA was instrumental in helping us to obtain 96 percent of the necessary financing,” says Michaelson.
“Staff and leadership are available, responsive, and willing to work to make projects happen. The county really benefits from being large enough to have some true resources to offer in both finance and knowledge, while still being small enough to be nimble and accessible. The WCHRA is a great group to work with.”