Jeremy Bittermann

Rockwood Village was built with two purposes in mind. Not only does the community add affordable housing to Gresham, Oregon, but it expands the city’s green space, too.

The site was a previously undeveloped, overgrown 7.4-acre parcel that was landlocked by smaller residential homes—making it not publicly accessible. Now, it’s a six-building, 224-unit community complete with pedestrian walkways, bike paths, and a newly opened public park.

Jeremy Bittermann

“Neighbors Park, a publicly accessible park anchored by a preserved stand of mature Douglas fir trees, was included as a main feature of the project with the goal of promoting access to nature,” says Eric Paine, CEO at Community Development Partners, which helped develop the community. “Additionally, the overall connectivity within the Rockwood neighborhood was improved through the provision of a public street and safe pedestrian and bicycle route, connecting Rockwood Village to nearby public transportation and community amenities.”

In addition to its outdoor amenities, the development also provides a host of on-site services. Through co-developer Hacienda CDC, residents have access to after-school programming, a free food pantry, bilingual services, intergenerational arts programs, and more. There’s even an on-site urban farm and garden run by Mudbone Grown, a local Black-owned community farming enterprise.

To further promote health, education, and social activities, the community building includes a large gathering space with a full kitchen for events and interaction, along with audio-visual equipment that enables the community to host workshops and seminars.

“Rockwood is one of the most ethnically diverse communities in the state of Oregon—a primary driver of ours when approaching the concept and award-winning design of Rockwood Village,” Paine says. “With our partners at Hacienda CDC, we are able to offer culturally responsive programming and services on site that engage youth and connect families to resources and economic opportunity.”

The project was specifically designed to accommodate multigenerational and larger families in addition to the general community. There’s a mix of one-, two-, three-, and four-bedroom homes, with approximately 80% of the units scaled for larger households.