City working to accommodate projected population growth
REDMOND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- According to a report provided Tuesday to the Redmond City Council, 67% of the 11,068 people who work in Redmond commute from outside of the city. Now, the city is looking to add about 7,000 new housing units to accommodate 20 years of projected growth.
On Tuesday, NewsChannel 21 spoke with Redmond Deputy City Manager John Roberts to learn why there is a need to adopt the new housing plan.
“The need for this plan is two-fold,” Roberts said. “It is a state requirement, and also Deschutes County remains the fastest-growing county in the state. The growth in Redmond itself is pretty significant, and it’s expected to go upwards 4-6% a year from what we’re currently experiencing.”
Currently, the city says, about 38% of households in Redmond cannot afford a two-bedroom apartment at the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development’s fair-market rent of $965 a month. Last year, in order to afford a two-bedroom rental unit, the household income needed to be at least $18.56 an hour.
Joe Puentes, who owns Proust Coffee in downtown Redmond, said despite the challenges, the projected growth is good for business.
Puentes and his family first moved to Redmond from Prineville after relocating from Colorado. He said it’s no surprise that Redmond is becoming more popular.
“Being downtown, we see it all,” Puentes said. “We’ve had homeless people sleeping in front of our business. And so, what do you do? Add more housing!”
He said when his family first started their business, Redmond felt “kind of lonely.”
“We’re three years into having this business, and it’s definitely going really well,” Puentes said. “We definitely notice the sense of more people in the area. Three years ago, we would have our regulars, but foot traffic in our store was very few and far in between.”
The city says Redmond will need to provide 6,963 housing units in a 20-year span, by 2039. Of that, the goal is for 60% of those to be single-family detached homes, 15% single-family attached homes, such as duplexes, and the rest as multi-family homes, such as apartments.
The housing plan was discussed during Tuesday’s city council meeting. More information can be found on the meeting homepage at https://www.ci.redmond.or.us/government/city-council/council-meeting-info/meeting-documents.