A worker enters one of the rooms at Daggett Townhomes, under construction in Bend, on Feb. 19, 2018. (Andy Tullis/Bulletin photo)
Twenty-four families in need of affordable housing will soon be able to move into townhomes on Daggett Lane in Bend, a project that’s about six months overdue.
The delay is a result of last winter’s severe weather, site-specific setbacks and the Portland-based general contractor’s inability to recruit enough subcontractor labor, according to officials at Housing Works, the Central Oregon public housing agency and owner/developer.
“It’s a contractor issue, and it’s driving us crazy,” said Tom Kemper, Housing Works executive director. The two-bedroom and three-bedroom townhomes were supposed to be ready in August, he said last week.
The Daggett Townhomes and nearby Moonlight Townhomes are part of the same $11 million project near Al Moody Park and St. Charles Bend. The apartments are reserved for families earning 60 percent of the area median income, which for a family of three would be $34,500 annually.
Keith Wooden, Housing Works real estate director, said Tuesday he expected to pick up keys for the first eight units at 4 p.m. that day. A “final final” inspection by the city on 13 more units was scheduled for Wednesday morning, he said. If no issues remained, certificates of occupancy could be issued by Friday for those units.
The remaining three units are close to being ready for final inspection, Wooden said.
Families were awarded their slots in a lottery last spring, and none has dropped off the list, said Roger Moore, general manager at Epic Property Management.
At least one client of NeighborImpact has been staying at the Nancy’s House family shelter in Redmond while awaiting a place at Daggett, said Molly Heiss, director of housing stabilization.
Moonlight Townhomes’ 29 units have been fully occupied since they were finished in August and September, Moore said.
Silco Commercial Construction is subject to financial penalties for failing to deliver the Daggett Townhomes on time, Kemper said.
Housing Works granted weather-related extensions that pushed the deadline to September or October, he said, but that doesn’t explain everything. “We’ve been frustrated with the performance of this contractor,” Wooden said.
Silco had a lot of experience building affordable housing in the Portland area, and that’s one reason the firm was chosen to manage the project, Wooden said. General contractors across the board are reporting difficulty keeping subcontractors on the job, he said, but Silco was at more of a disadvantage without ties to the Central Oregon market, he said.
No other affordable housing project in Oregon has been delayed as long as Daggett Townhomes, said Ariel Nelson, spokeswoman for Oregon Housing and Community Services, which helped fund the project. Many other projects have faced shorter delays, however, as developers are forced to rebid the work at higher prices, she said.
The city of Bend also supplied a $1.1 million affordable housing loan and waived system development charges for the project.
There have been no delays in city inspections on the Daggett or Moonlight townhomes, building official Joseph McClay said. He said the city is prepared to issue certificates of occupancy within 48 hours of an approved final inspection and application for the certificate.