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Wyden visits NE Bend seniors affordable apartment community, promotes expanding housing tax credit

(Update: Adding video, comments from news conference)

Wyden points out more than 300,000 Americans can't afford some basic needs after rent.

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) – The effort to create more affordable housing in Central Oregon got a boost from a visiting U.S. senator Tuesday.   

Continuing this week’s Central Oregon trip, Sen. Ron Wyden visited a northeast Bend seniors apartment complex that was built with help from the federal low-income housing tax credit, which he's introduced legislation to expand.

"Housing ought to be a basic human right," Wyden said Tuesday.

Wyden and Bend Mayor Melanie Kebler were joined by officials from Housing Works and Mosaic Community Health at the Legacy Landing Apartments on NE Tucson Way, which opened in the fall of 2021.

At the news conference, a resident expressed her gratitude for the affordable place to live: “You guys gave me the best gift forever -- I don’t have to worry."

Legacy Landing provides 47 apartments to house low-income seniors who are living on 50% of the area's median income or less.

According to Housing Works, a local nonprofit dedicated to fighting homelessness, six units are reserved for Mosaic Medical for patients with chronic medical conditions, and four are made available to houseless veterans.

The senator put a spotlight on how tax credits can help fight homelessness by creating incentives to build affordable housing.

Wyden has introduced legislation, the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Actto expand the low-income housing tax credit as part of his overall efforts to reduce homelessness and generate affordable housing.

"Here’s the way it will actually work," Wyden said. "There will be extra money that will come to our region. Rather than micro-manage from Washington D.C., we will be working with them to start getting enough housing as we possibly can.”

Wyden pointed out more than 300,000 Oregon households report that after paying rent, they don’t have enough money for basics like food or child care, and he intends to fill that gap.

According to Wyden’s office, since its creation, the low-income housing tax credit has built or restored more than 3.5 million affordable housing units in the US and supported 5.5 million jobs. 

"This is the moral thing to do, but it’s also the smart thing to do with your wallet," Wyden said.

According to Wyden's office, roughly eight million American households have benefited from the credit.

Article Topic Follows: Bend

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Bola Gbadebo

Bola Gbadebo is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Bola here.


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