United Way of the Mid-Willamette Valley is set to address one of the most alarming trends in our community. Low income seniors are the fastest growing population who are at-risk of homelessness due to economic insecurity.
The average senior in Oregon living on fixed income receives $1,450 per month. HUD defines cost-burdened as those who pay more than 30 percent of their income for housing. Current statistics show a number of economic factors have combined over the last several decades to decrease the economic security of many of today's seniors and near seniors, positioning them just one misfortune away from homelessness.
The Salem City Council voted Monday evening to sell surplus property at 4396, 4408, 4432, 4446, and 4480 Market Street NE to the United Way of the Mid-Willamette Valley. Working with innovative design and production, our goal is to create intentional micro-communities of rental cottages at a price point that is less than $450 per month.
"Right now there are senior citizens in our community who are in desperate need of help. They are people who worked hard all their lives but without a retirement or pension and are now living on limited income. Our goal is to provide a safe and affordable place to call home for as long as they can live independently” said Rhonda Wolf, CEO.
The sale of the property is a significant milestone in this project. As the best architectural solutions are explored, United Way will continue to work with the city of Salem on zoning and other requirements. Residents will be selected by working with area service partners to identify the highest need individuals who would benefit from this initiative.
Last night, United Way Affordable Housing Committee Chair, Brent Neilsen commented “There are many people we must thank, City Staff, Neighbors, and so many business partners who have stepped up to help us get to this point. This is a complex project, but the number of people who have come to the table with assistance is inspiring. Every single one of us is confronted by the problem of homelessness every day, the solution we are working on is just a small part.”
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