In an approach to mitigate rising rent prices, rising development costs and provide housing for low income households, the state of Oregon has moved $120 million to an innovative housing program. The program, LIFT, was able to open doors on its first project.

The first tenants of a 180-unit affordable housing development constructed with state funding through the two-year-old LIFT Rental program begin moving into their new homes in Northeast Salem Wednesday, Aug. 15.

The Cornerstone Apartments on Northeast Portland Road are the first completed project from LIFT (Local Innovation and Fast Track). Another 1,700 units, funded with LIFT, are under development in locations ranging from rural Ontario in Eastern Oregon to urban Portland.

"While we are excited about this opportunity today, make no mistake we still have a ton of work ahead of us," said Margaret Salazar, director of Oregon Housing and Community Services, the state housing financing agency. "Housing insecurity is continuing to impact communities large and small across the state. But it is days like today when we have the honor of welcoming new residents into their new homes that we know brick by brick and development by development we are making a difference.

"We have more housing in the pipeline than ever before."

The Oregon Legislature created the program in 2015 with a goal of quickly providing affordable housing units to low-income families. Lawmakers have appropriated $120 million to the program since 2016.

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