Metro, City of Lake Oswego and Housing Authority of Clackamas County
October 24, 2022
Generated through community engagement with:
- A stakeholder group of 23 people including neighbors and members of communities affected by
oppression and housing disparities including Black, Indigenous and other people of color, immigrants
and refugees, older people, people with disabilities, low-income people and people who have been
houseless and/or have lived in affordable housing.
- A survey, with 36 respondents, circulated to service providers and people with similar experiences to
those who will live in this new housing.
(More detail on the people engaged, methods, activities, etc. available in Metro’s engagement report to
be completed and made available on our webpage by end of December 2022.)
QUALITIES FOR SUCCESSFUL NEW AFFORDABLE HOUSING
“Peaceful, beautiful and safe shouldn’t just be for people with higher incomes.” S. C., early phase
Outdoor areas should be peaceful, beautiful, safe and sustainable. Trees provide shade, preserve the
forested feeling of the neighborhood and buffer noise from Boones Ferry Road. Accessible, quiet,
outdoor green spaces (such as edible and ornamental gardens, seating areas, etc.) help people connect
to nature, while active outdoor space allows children and youth to run and play. Usable patios or
balconies support mental health with private access to fresh air and sunlight. Outdoor space feels safe,
with security features such as thoughtful site layout and lighting, safe and accessible connections to the
surrounding streets and bike routes, and protected school bus and TriMet waiting areas. Parking is well-
Beautiful, creative, ADA-accessible building design that fits with the surrounding neighborhood and
retains mature trees will empower residents by breaking the stigma often associated with affordable
housing. Universal design principles and gathering spaces (e.g., informal indoor and outdoor meeting
space, community room with kitchen, library/book room, seating for all bodies) help residents build
community and feel included in communal life. Personal storage options, pet areas, adequate and
assigned parking, free high-speed internet, convenient laundry (prioritize in-unit washer/dryer) and easy
access to outdoor space simplify residents’ lives. Sustainable building features (e.g., energy efficient
appliances, 100% electric, long-lasting construction, high quality materials, solar panels/lights, passive
solar, trees to help with cooling, heat pump heating/cooling, composting, generator and EV hook ups)
ensure that the building remains durable and efficient to operate into the future. Designated smoking
areas and soundproofing allow residents to peacefully enjoy private and shared space.
Management and community
Property management welcomes and engages people of all backgrounds, and questions or concerns are
accepted and addressed promptly without reprisal or backlash. Management respects and fosters
tenant organization as well as connection between tenants and surrounding neighbors. Informal and
more organized events provide opportunities for residents to connect with one another, the
surrounding neighborhood, and community groups and organizations (consider a committee or council
of tenants and neighbors to plan fun things and address concerns). Management works with residents
to create equitable approaches to resolving conflict and trauma-informed safety measures that do not
rely on police intervention. Marketing and lease-up efforts reach people from marginalized groups.
Building signage and notices are posted in multiple languages.
The social environment is approachable, friendly, welcoming and inclusive; racism, homophobia and
other forms of bigotry are not tolerated. Residents appreciate a sense of belonging and being part of the
community – especially people who historically and currently may not have been welcome in Lake
Oswego, including Black and Indigenous people, people of color, people with disabilities, LGBTQ people
and people from other marginalized groups.
A robust resident services budget and surveying residents ensures services provided in the building help
residents achieve their goals (consider financial literacy, credit support, language classes,
reading/English literacy, employment assistance, computer access, recovery support, childcare, health
and nutrition classes, community health workers, renter protection information, etc.) Partnerships with
neighborhood groups and community organizations expand ties between building residents and the
broader Lake Oswego community. Access to shuttles, bike share, and other services augments
insufficient public transit (e.g., regular daily or weekly trips to transit centers, groceries, city amenities)
and enhance residents’ mobility.
QUALITIES FOR A SUCCESSFUL DEVELOPER
“Help change the view of what affordable housing is or looks like and who lives here.” C. D., early phase
A successful developer for this project will be committed to understanding and responding to the needs
of marginalized people. They should have experience with and commitment to trauma-informed design
and universal design. Diversity, equity and inclusion are important to this community, and should be
considered at every step of the development. The developer should have a diverse staff and board, with
people of color and people who’ve experienced housing instability in key roles and positions of power.
They should advance equity in internal hiring and promote equitable hiring practices in their
contractors. Property management should be carefully selected for a respectful, prompt, solution-based
approach, experience with equity and inclusion and track record of positive relationships with tenants.
The developer should show commitment to collaborative decision making, an outside-the-box approach
and a passion for creating homes and communities that break the stigma around low-income housing.
Developer should have a record of multifamily projects whose building design fits with the surrounding
neighborhood. Design and operation should be deeply influenced by meaningful community and
neighborhood engagement (with over-representation of people with similar experiences to those who
will live in this housing, i.e., low-income people, people of color, people with disabilities, etc.) and use
creative solutions to issues or challenges. Partner with local community-based organizations. Show
ability to work with neighbors to minimize and mitigate development impacts.
The developer should approach development as a long-term steward of the building, the resident
community and the neighborhood. A long-term focus and investment – with quality materials,
sustainability, adequate budgeting for resident services and building operations, commitment to the
neighborhood and intent to operate as affordable housing for the long term – will help a developer