Project Turnkey Hillsboro
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With strong community support demonstrated by voter approval of the 2018 Affordable Housing Bond and more recently, the metro-wide Supportive Housing Services Levy in November of 2020, Washington County has been actively seeking opportunities to provide shelter for hundreds of vulnerable homeless individuals who are currently living outdoors.
In an effort to expand access to emergency sheltering, Washington County is working with community partners and jurisdictional partners on opportunities to increase shelter access throughout the County. There is a strong emphasis on access and outreach to communities of color.
PROJECT TURNKEY HILLSBORO (FORMERLY ECONO LODGE)
In April of 2021 and in alignment with widespread community support to increase the availability of affordable and supportive housing, Washington County is seeking to purchase the Econo Lodge Motel at 622 SE 10th Avenue in Hillsboro with grant funding from Oregon’s Project Turnkey. Project Turnkey is a program created by the Oregon Legislature for the purpose of acquiring motels and hotels to serve as temporary housing for people experiencing homelessness. If approved, the acquisition will allow the County to provide additional short-term respite shelter options during the COVID-19 pandemic and support those experiencing chronic homelessness in our community.
If approved, on or about July 1, 2021, following a brief renovation period, the County would begin operating the site for one year as a short-term respite shelter to temporarily house individuals experiencing homelessness who have either tested positive for COVID-19 or are symptomatic and need to be isolated from others. A portion of the facility would also serve as an emergency non-congregate shelter site for other individuals experiencing homelessness. Throughout the first year of operation, the County will continue to explore a range of options for the facility moving forward, with a primary focus on providing supportive, culturally appropriate housing services to vulnerable community members.
The property would be purchased with approximately $6.15 million through a grant from Project Turnkey and some funding from Washington County. Future funding sources needed for renovation work will potentially consist of a combination of additional federal, state and local affordable housing funds once a capital needs assessment is completed.
The project plan includes 24-hour, onsite management by a contracted and qualified shelter care provider that is yet to be determined. Washington County Housing Services will provide contract management oversight along with COVID-19 protocol training and monitoring. County staff will also provide direct support to the shelter operator and maintain a direct line of communication with local Hillsboro residents and businesses.
As the property transitions from a temporary, COVID-19 respite shelter, use restrictions will require that the site be used in a way that provides affordable housing or programming that supports homeless individuals. County staff will work with the community, Board of Commissioners and the City of Hillsboro to ascertain the highest and best use of the site moving forward, after the first year of operations.
Prior to the opening of the respite shelter, Washington County will conduct outreach to local businesses, residents and community stakeholders. A virtual community meeting was held on May 19 to allow interested community members to learn about the project, express concerns and make suggestions regarding facility operations.
Read an informational flyer and frequently asked questions for Project Turnkey in Hillsboro. An e-mail newsletter is also planned. Join the newsletter mailing list to receive updates as the project progresses.
If you have questions or concerns you can reach Washington County staff by calling 503-846-4722 or by sending an e-mail to Shelters@co.washington.or.us.
The shelter operator also has a dedicated contact person for the community:
Greater Good Northwest