Vacancy rates in Central Oregon are currently under one percent and there is an intense need for affordable housing options. Tuesday August 15th will be the groundbreaking on a project to turn an old school in Prineville into affordable housing units.
The transformation of the Ochoco Grade School into the new Ochoco School Crossing will hopefully take just one year. Housing Works intends to turn the old 1940s schoolhouse into homes for 29 low-income families. Housing Works executive director Tom Kemper says their goal is to keep as much of the historic building intact as possible.
“There was some intense interest to preserve that building. It’s got pretty significant historical interest for citizens of Prineville because most of them went to school there when they were kids,” says Kemper.
The homes built out of the grade school will be available for families with incomes at or below 50 percent of the area median income. The Ochoco School Crossing will also have a community recreation area in the former school gym and a Head Start facility in the cafeteria. Apartments can be pre-leased about three months before completion.