The Catholic Charities Housing and Community Development team inspects donated property in Happy Valley with design and construction leaders. (Courtesy Catholic Charities)
The Catholic Charities Housing and Community Development team inspects donated property in Happy Valley with design and construction leaders. (Courtesy Catholic Charities)

UPDATED NOV. 19, 5:45 PM

HAPPY VALLEY — Catholic Charities of Oregon is a step closer to building 142 new affordable homes in Happy Valley, thanks to $18.3 million in Metro Affordable Housing Bond funds approved by the Clackamas County Board of County Commissioners this summer. If city zoning, design, and building permit approval comes, Good Shepherd Village will be the first regulated affordable housing development within the city limits of Happy Valley and Catholic Charities’ largest development.

“We'd be thrilled to be able to welcome families to an incredible neighborhood that is too often out of reach for low-income households,” said Travis Phillips, Catholic Charities’ director of community development and housing. “This property was generously donated to us nearly a decade ago with the vision that low-income people would be able to afford to live in an area with such great opportunities, and we’re excited to see that vision finally realized.”

The proposed new development — which features studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom units — would include 15 units prioritized for veterans and seniors and eight units for those who have experienced homelessness or who are at risk of homelessness. Residents would have easy access to public transit, grocery stores, schools, a public library, several parks and health care sites.

The bond funding was approved with a slate of other projects as part of the $652.8 million Metro Regional Housing Bond approved in 2018 by Clackamas, Washington and Multnomah county voters.

Good Shepherd Village would be one of the first projects developed in Clackamas County using the funds. The development is the second project to receive committed funding since Catholic Charities of Oregon announced participation in a national Healthy Housing Initiative in early 2019. The Initiative, envisioned by Catholic Charities USA, began at the start of 2020. It set ambitious goals to reduce chronic homelessness, connect newly housed residents with primary health and mental health care, and decrease hospital readmission rates among homeless persons. Catholic Charities of Oregon’s first project in the Healthy Housing Initiative is the 110-unit Cathedral Village apartments in the Cathedral Park neighborhood of North Portland. Construction of Cathedral Village is anticipated to begin soon with occupancy targeted for early 2022. Also in the works is Catholic Charities housing on the grounds of St. Philip Neri Parish in Southeast Portland.