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Bend Chamber, Kôr Community Land Trust to break ground for employer-supported workforce housing pilot

Kôr Community Land Trust, Bend Chamber

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) --The Bend Chamber and Kôr Community Land Trust are excited to announce that the groundbreaking ceremony for the Poplar Community on Bend’s west side will take place at noon on Monday, May 1.

The media and general public are invited to attend the launch of construction of the employer-supported workforce housing pilot. Mayor Melanie Kebler, several city council members, county commissioners and other dignitaries and supporters will be attending.

“The Poplar Community is the culmination of resident-driven design, innovative partnerships, and climate resiliency,” commented Jackie Keogh, Kôr Community Land Trust Executive Director. “Our intentionality has produced affordable and sustainable homes that our community wants to live in, and our neighbors want in their backyards,” she added.

Poplar is a seven-unit affordable homeownership community to be built on Bend’s west side. It is the first community in the nation to use a workforce housing preference to house our essential workers thanks to the support of the Bend Chamber and the City of Bend. It also prioritizes first-generation homebuyers and accepts homebuyers with Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINs), a first for Central Oregon. 

Poplar is funded by Oregon Housing Community Services, Washington Trust Bank, the City of Bend, Deschutes County, U.S. Bank Foundation, Central Oregon Health Council, Oregon Community Foundation, Solar for All, Brooks Resources, Meyer Memorial Trust, and the Bend Chamber—thanks to financial support from Providence Health Plan and specific Bend Chamber members. The sponsorships help support the difference between the cost to build these homes and what income-qualified homebuyers can afford.

“Our business community stepped up to provide an opportunity for generations of Bend employees to be homeowners. We hope this project demonstrates how partnerships can be a part of the solution for making Bend a place where employees can work and live,” shared Katy Brooks, Bend Chamber CEO.

The development team includes Hiatus Homes, Ten Over Studio, Ashley & Vance Engineering, Transight Consulting, Blackmore Planning, Sunlight Solar, Earth Advantage, Energy Trust of Oregon, York Bros. Excavation, and S&F Land Services.

The Poplar Community homes are expected to be completed by winter 2024 and are located on Kôr land that retains a deed restriction ensuring each subsequent home resale will preference employees of qualified employer partners, extending this benefit to the Bend workforce in perpetuity.

Qualified, first-time homebuyers are encouraged to apply for this homeownership opportunity. Full details on how to get started, review the prerequisite steps, and apply for inclusion in Kôr’s housing lottery can be found here: The deadline for applying is 5:00PM PDT, Thursday, May 18.

The Poplar Community groundbreaking ceremony will be held at the site across from 19946 SW Poplar Ave, Bend, Oregon, 97702. The ceremony will begin with a networking session from 12:00PM–12:15PM, followed by speaker comments from 12:15PM–12:45PM. The groundbreaking ceremony and photo-op will be at 12:45PM. A light lunch and non-alcoholic beverages will be available for attendees. This is a dirt site and attendees are asked to wear appropriate footwear while on location. The courtesy of an RSVP is requested for those planning to attend. RSVPs can be made here: .


Kôr Community Land Trust’s Mission

Provide environmentally sustainable and permanently affordable homeownership opportunities for those who contribute to the fabric of the Central Oregon economy and community.

Bend Chamber’s Mission

Create an environment where businesses, their employees and our community excel together through collaboration, advocacy, resources and leadership to meet Bend’s business challenges.

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Barney Lerten

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