Tribal Government & News

Home-ownership development may break ground in 2020

10.31.2019 Dean Rhodes Housing

By Dean Rhodes

Smoke Signals editor

Tribal Housing Department Manager Shonn Leno said during a community listening session held on Thursday, Oct. 17, that the Grand Ronde Tribe might break ground on its first single-family home development in Grand Ronde by late 2020.

According to a Housing Department survey conducted in June and July, 142 Tribal members out of 222 who answered the question indicated that they are interested in buying land and building a home in Grand Ronde. Sixty-nine said they would be interested in leasing land and building a home and 71 said they are interested in buying a home and have the financial resources to do so.

The survey had 602 total responses from Tribal members and employees at Spirit Mountain Casino and the Tribal government. The response rate between Tribal and nonTribal members was almost 50-50 with 309 Tribal members responding.

The survey found that the greatest barrier mentioned by Tribal members wanting to relocate to Grand Ronde was a lack of available housing. The Tribe’s housing options in Grand Ronde all had occupation rates of 94 percent or higher in 2018.

The survey also found that the most popular new home option would be stick-built homes and the most popular lot size was between a half-acre to an acre.

Leno said the Housing Department would use the Housing survey results to determine a target population for a Phase One housing development and then work with Tribal Council to identify a site on which to build. Leno has previously said the 86.48-acre Rink property east of Grand Meadows and the eight-acre Windsor property south of Grand Meadows and east of the Grand Ronde Fire Station as possible sites for a home development locally.

“The Housing Department will interview respondents to more definitively estimate the number of ready-to-buy prospective home owners,” the survey results state. “This will inform a development strategy that will designate the Tribal lands for home ownership, infrastructure development and construction, financing terms and procedures, contracts for home construction and new home construction. We anticipate new home construction in 2020.”