Affordable, Sustainable Housing in Bend

Bend’s rapid growth is contributing to a problem which many people are familiar with – a lack of affordable housing. Half of Bend’s households earn the area median income (AMI) or less, yet still can’t afford a home within city limits.

Case in point: For a population of over 80,000, there were only 51 homes for sale in August which were affordable to those making the AMI or less. Many of those homes needed repairs to make them safe and livable. Just last week, The Bulletin reported that the median price of a single-family home in Bend has reached $345,000.

Bend isn’t the only town struggling with an affordable housing deficit. People across the country are searching for a real solution that would provide better access to affordable homes. Moreover, they’re searching for a solution that is sustainable for current AND future generations, acknowledging that our global carbon emissions are higher than ever before. Kôr Community Land Trust, a new nonprofit co-founded by Amy Warren and Jason Offutt, has proposed a solution for Bend, and believe they can set an example for other communities to follow.

Kôr aims to build affordable communities in Bend using the Community Land Trust (CLT) model. The model works like this: The land trust owns the property perpetually for the purpose of affordable housing while the homeowner owns the home; when a home is sold, the homeowner and the land trust share the appreciation value, with the trust reinvesting its gains into new homes. And, because the land trust is a nonprofit, it can access grants and other funds from charitable sources. Together, these characteristics reduce the cost of building and owning a home.

Kôr’s homes will be available to those with an income level at, or less than, the AMI of approximately $50,000. Even better, Kôr is designing their homes to be net-zero energy, meaning they will generate all the energy that they consume. Each home will be built an average of 1,000 efficient, comfortable and versatile square feet.

It takes a village to build a village. If you want to get involved in this solution, Kôr is currently raising funds to purchase their first community property. They’ve identified a central property in town that will accommodate nine homes and is listed at $135,000. The development of this community would not only provide nine households with stability, but it will demonstrate a working model for the future that is publicly available to all! Check out their campaign on Indiegogo to learn more (and get some swag for your support)!