On April 20, 2023, from 2 to 3:30 pm at 3333 SW 198th Ave in Aloha, a newly renovated 54-unit property, Heartwood Commons, will be unveiled to the public with a grand opening. The project, made possible by the voter-approved Metro 2018 Affordable Housing Bond and 2020 Supportive Housing Services Levy, converts a former motel into an apartment complex to provide long-term supportive housing for Washington County’s formerly homeless residents. The opening celebration will include speeches from local leaders, elected officials, and a community social over locally provided refreshments. Tours of the building will be provided to the media as well.
Heartwood Commons was named together with project staff, artists, service providers, and local Aloha residents. The name was inspired by a County-sponsored collage event with source material from Aloha’s history. The resulting art spoke to what a safe home in the Aloha community means to everyone. With that in mind, Commissioner Nafisa Fai shares that, “Washington County continues to address the homelessness crisis using every tool we have, including converting motels into supportive housing, a proven and effective method. Having a roof over your head gives people a place to start over, a place to heal that centers dignity and humanity. This project will provide the stable foundation needed so that folks can access the crucial services they need to move along the continuum into permanent housing. Thank you to the many community partners, including voters, for coming together to fund this project, which will help people for years to come.” Almost 1,300 people in the County have transitioned from homelessness into stable housing in 2022 alone and 1000 more people are expected to be housed over the next year.
The Housing Authority of Washington County purchased the motel in January 2021 with plans in place to provide Permanent Supportive Housing. This model combines rental assistance with wrap-around support services to address the needs of people experiencing homelessness including behavioral health support, connections to employment and other community services. The approach reduces costs associated with the use of crisis services such as jails, hospitals and shelters. Partners bringing these on-site services to life are Bienestar, Community Partners for Affordable Housing, Sequoia Mental Health and Cascade Property Management.
For more information on Heartwood Commons, please visit the County’s dedicated webpage.
ABOUT HEARTWOOD COMMONS: The building’s name expresses the values of permanent supportive housing. Like heartwood, the building will serve people who are strong and resilient. Commons meanwhile is defined as a property that belongs to everyone in a community. Taken together, Heartwood Commons will provide safe affordable housing and supportive services for some of our most vulnerable community members.
ABOUT HOUSING AUTHORITY OF WASHINGTON COUNTY: The Housing Authority of Washington County has been providing and developing affordable housing opportunities for over 50 years. Today, the effort continues with the county’s Department of Housing Services, formed in 1992 to administer both its housing activities and programs and that of Washington County. Its mission is to provide a continuum of affordable housing options that promote community strength.