PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Dozens of more affordable housing options for seniors are now under construction in Tigard as the demand for housing only grows. The apartments will be right next door to the senior center on SW O’Mara Street and will provide affordable homes for those on fixed incomes when rents continue to skyrocket. 

The Portland Metropolitan Area is short nearly 50,000 affordable housing units to meet the needs in the community, according to Metro, and it’s a demand that’s only going to grow.

“We need hundreds to thousands of these kinds of projects to meet needs now and recognize that the need three years from now is going to be more, not less,” said Tigard Mayor Jason Snider.

One of the newest projects working to meet that need in Tigard is now under construction with 57 one-bedroom apartment homes in the works for low-income seniors 62 and older, just feet away from the senior center with resources like support staff and Meals on Wheels. The project will also prioritize housing for veterans and seniors with disabilities, according to the city.

“Just a fabulous opportunity to get folks housed and housed in a way that allows them to age in place, stay in their community, and remain connected to the people that they love and the community that they cherish,” said Snider. 

The four-story building will include ADA-accessible walk-in showers, heating and the ability to accommodate personal air conditioning units. KOIN 6 asked developers to clarify if there won’t be A/C units in the apartments, then what will be done to keep residents cool, especially as 2021’s deadly heat dome greatly impacted seniors.

Northwest Housing Alternatives executive director Trell Anderson told KOIN 6 News the hallways, common areas and the adjacent senior center will have A/C and workers will also be able to notify residents of these resources.

“So many people are living with limited resources, especially seniors,” said Anderson. “We’re going back and reassessing all of the cooling options and opportunities even in the projects in current portfolio. We understand that heat, the heat dome, particularly impacts seniors and that’s a high priority for us right now.”

Anderson says the construction timeline is just over a year to complete. Snider says it’s important that these options are available not just in Portland, but also in the cities many of these seniors already call home.

“Younger members of their family want to make sure that they can remain in their community and remain connected and also have a place that they can call home and that’s relatively affordable,” said Snider.

As for those individual air conditioner units for each apartment, Northwest Housing Alternatives, the non-profit developing these homes, says if enough money comes in, that’s something they can consider adding in. If you, as an individual or corporation, can and would like to help, you can donate online.