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‘Rooted at Simpson’ breaks ground in SW Bend; aims to provide 99 affordable homes, apartment units

(Update: Adding video, comments from Deschutes County commissioners, RootedHomes)

First of Housing Works' three project groundbreaking ceremonies in two days

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- RootedHomes and Housing Works held a groundbreaking ceremony Monday for their joint 'Rooted at Simpson' project on Bend’s west side. The public was invited to attend the launch of a project that will provide 99 units of affordable home rental and ownership.

The housing development is on Southwest Simpson Avenue, just down the street from OSU-Cascades.

"These were originally county-owned lands that we made available," Deschutes County Commissioner Phil Chang told us Monday. "I couldn't be more excited about the mix of homeownership and rental opportunities that they are going to be providing here."

Rooted at Simpson will include 40 single-family homes built by RootedHomes, and 59 rental garden-style walk-up apartments built by Housing Works.

"The two-bedroom is estimated around $240,000 and the three-bedroom is estimated at $280,000, in addition to a small HOA fee," Jackie Keogh, executive director for RootedHomes, told NewsChannel 21.

The project has been in development since 2021, with RootedHomes contributing $20 million and Housing Works contributing even more in public and private funds.

The proposed design offers onsite vehicle parking, electric vehicle charging, covered bike parking, community gardens and open green space featuring tree-lined walking and bike paths that lead to an improved sidewalk system.

"These homes are two- and three-bedroom homes, and they will all be Net Zero" in terms of energy efficiency, Keogh explained.

Because the houses are Net Zero, according to RootedHomes, utility bills are expected to cost residents only $12/month.

County Commissioner Patti Adair said, "It's in a location that has access to transportation. It's going to be a great use of this land, and I'm happy that they've carefully taken out some of the trees. Hopefully some of those trees can be lumber for the building."

Homes are currently under construction, and owners will be selected through a lottery. The application process is open on the RootedHomes website.

Keogh added, "Being able to pay in the $200,000s vs. the median home price of $800,000 is game-changing to so many working families."

The homeownership community is expected to begin construction this year, select homeowners in 2024, and sell homes through 2025. The rental community is expected to begin construction in 2024 and be ready for residents in the summer of 2025.

“The Simpson development is a showcase of partners working together to support the continuum of affordable housing needs in our community," said David Brandt, executive director of Housing Works. "Our collaboration between RootedHomes and Deschutes County has created a precedent for our future affordable housing developments throughout Central Oregon, starting next with Redmond,”

It was the first of three Housing Works projects for which groundbreaking ceremonies are taking place over Monday and Tuesday.

A Monday afternoon groundbreaking was held for a 33-unit permanent supporting housing community at 1024 SE Fourth Street in Bend. And a 3 p.m. Tuesday groundbreaking is planned for a 60-unit affordable housing community, Spencer Court, at 1835 SW Timber Avenue in Redmond.

Also on hand for both Monday groundbreaking events was Oregon Housing and Community Services Director Andrea Bell.

“This will be the largest permanently affordable and sustainable homeownership community in the City of Bend,” Bell said at the Simpson Community event. “Today, we celebrate the kind of progress that can happen when public and private partners work collectively and innovatively to provide housing solutions to the people and communities that need it the most.”

The Simpson Community is funded by Oregon Housing Community Services, Washington Federal Bank, Deschutes County, City of Bend, Bend Municipal Planning Organization, Oregon Community Foundation, Central Oregon Health Council, and Brooks Resources.

The development team includes O’Brien Design and Build, Ten Over Studio, Pinnacle Architecture, Ashley & Vance Engineering, Transight Consulting, Blackmore Planning, Earth Advantage, Energy Trust of Oregon, York Bros. Excavation, and S&F Land Services.



RootedHomes, formerly Kôr Community Land Trust, is a nonprofit that creates sustainable, affordable homeownership communities for Central Oregon’s workforce. Using the Community Land Trust model,
RootedHomes ensures that the community can access healthy, affordable homes for generations. RootedHomes develops to goal net-zero energy standards to ensure equitable access to
energy-efficient homes and the health and savings that come with it. RootedHomes is committed to
providing access to healthy homes to homebuyers who have been excluded from the opportunity to build wealth through homeownership. Learn more by visiting

Housing Works

Housing Works is the local housing authority for Deschutes, Crook, and Jefferson counties.  Housing Works provides affordable housing, rental assistance, and new beginnings for low-and moderate-income Central Oregonians. Housing Works believes that dignity begins with quality affordable housing. Housing Works fosters that dignity by providing award-winning, affordable homes and services that help people build a better future. Learn more by visiting

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Blake Mayfield

Blake Mayfield is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Blake here.


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