Sequoia Crossings Opens Their Doors in Northeast Salem
Salem’s newest affordable housing unit opened its doors on January 30 during a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
The project is called Sequoia Crossings (2950 Broadway St NE, Salem), which features 60 units to help previously homeless folks transition into housing.
The Salem Housing Authority oversaw the project and had initially demolished distressed public housing in 2009 but kept the land for future affordable housing development.
“Around this time, we identified a need for permanent supportive housing in Salem to work in the ‘Continuum of Care’ addressing the unsheltered crisis,” Director of Development and Strategy Jessica Blakely said. “Seeing how fast the waitlist filled for our other project, Redwood Crossings, we knew this was the path. The need in our community was at a critical level.”
The housing project provides housing and social services to the chronically homeless folks in the community. The goal is to provide a community space that will help remove stressors, create security, and encourage collaboration.
The complex will feature one- and two-bedroom units and is meant to house small families or single adults. There will also be one employee on site 24 hours a day to help tenants with anything that arises.
“Sequoia Crossings was selected as one of eight projects to attend the Permanent Supportive Housing Institute offered by Oregon Housing and Community Services,” Blakely said. “Teams had to submit applications describing their potential project and team members which must include a developer, service provider, property manager and ideally one with lived experience with homelessness.”
The initial lease is 12 months and converts to month-to-month. Residents only pay 30 percent of their income and if they don’t have an income then rent is free. The Salem Housing Authority also pays for all of the utility bills.
Most of the units are visible from the courtyard so you can see who is coming and going. An administration building also allows residents to socialize or seek assistance. It features a work area, private offices, a large community room with a kitchen, a laundry, and support spaces.
With this project now complete, the Salem Housing Authority will begin work on a rehabilitation project.
“We are always in search of the next opportunity,” Blakely said. “Our next project will be a rehabilitation of two senior properties we own that have reached their 30th year in operation. We will be doing a full remodel of the interior and exterior.”
For Sequoia Crossings, feedback has been fairly positive. The Salem Housing Authority has been working with the Highland and Northgate neighborhood associations to work on any comments and concerns.
“This project was designed collaboratively with the Salem Housing Authority (owner), Housing Development Center (developer), Mid-Willamette Valley Community Action Agency (service provider), Pinnacle Architecture (architect), and Lucy Briseno (lived experience and employee of The Arches Project),” Blakely said. “The team spent 6 months attending classes and learning best practices of Permanent Supportive Housing including trauma-informed design.”