On December 21, the City of Eugene will close its largest Rental Rehabilitation loan to-citydate, lending $1,500,000 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds to benefit Ya-Po-Ah Terrace Retirement Apartments. This marks the culmination of three years of preparatory and regulatory processes which included a visit from Governor Kate Brown in 2017.
Ya-Po-Ah Terrace is locally owned by Evergreen Union Retirement Association and was constructed in 1968. It is the tallest building in Lane County. Located at the base of Skinner Butte, Ya-Po-Ah Terrace’s illuminated Peace on Earth sign is well known throughout the community this time of year.
Ya-Po-Ah Terrace Residents
What may not be widely known by the community is who lives in Ya-Po-Ah Terrace.
- Since 1968, the building has provided 222 units dedicated to seniors aged 62 and older.
- 210 apartments are for seniors with very low incomes who pay no more than 30% of their income as rent.
- The average resident is over 76 years old and has an income of $15,910 per year.
The federal program that supported its construction and additional rent subsidies have allowed the units to remain affordable to seniors for nearly 50 years. The rehabilitation of Ya-Po-Ah Terrace will allow the continuation of federal subsidies to preserve these units as affordable housing for current and future residents.
Rehabilitating Affordable Housing for Low-Income Persons
The City dedicated $1,500,000 in CDBG funds to help support the substantial rehabilitation of this Eugene landmark. Preservation of Ya-Po-Ah Terrace is part of a City goal to rehabilitate at least 350 units of affordable housing for low-income persons. This goal was established through the 2015 Eugene-Springfield Consolidated Plan.
The State of Oregon, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), are providing critical financial resources for this project through multiple programs. The total construction project is nearly $30 million dollars and includes:
- Replacing the building’s skin with highly-insulated roof, walls, and windows
- Updating the interior LED lighting, plumbing fixtures, and mechanical systems
- Creating additional ADA parking spaces and route to the building’s entrance
During the rehabilitation, tenants will be temporarily relocated to another unit within the building or to a comparable unit off-site at no cost to them. All residents will return once phased work is complete, and no one will be permanently displaced as a result of the project.
Resident Wendy Vroman has lived at Ya-Po-Ah Terrace for over two years. She said, “I have found a home in the community of Ya-Po-Ah and preserving it ensures that I have a home to live in for many years to come.”
Rehabilitation will begin in early 2019. This project not only extends the life of the building, but also preserves the long-term affordability of the federal rent subsidies for future, aging Oregonians. May Ya-Po-Ah’s Peace on Earth sign shine brightly for many holiday seasons to come.
Photo credit: Meadowlark Imagery