REDMOND, Ore. - The city of Redmond is looking to create affordable housing in an unusual way. It's selling two houses to the nonprofit Housing Works after the police department seized them back in 2012.
The seizure of two houses in southwest Redmond were the result of an investigation where a marijuana grow was discovered. The houses were used only to grow marijuana and ultimately were seized by the police department.
Police Chief Dave Tarbet said Tuesday evening he's glad to see the homes be put to good use.
"It's a humanitarian approach, in a sense, which our department tries to be about that and tries to help the community as much as possible," he said. "And obviously we still enforce the law too, but we do try to help people overcome issues in their lives and make their lives better."
"So I think the sale of these homes to Housing Works so they can be resold as affordable housing is a great opportunity to help two more families in the community," he said.
Tarbet said it's not all that unusual for the department to posses "personal property" as the result of an investigation. But he said it's pretty uncommon to be in the possession of a house.
The money the Police Department will eventually receive from the sale of the homes will go toward drug enforcement and prevention.
Those houses will also be used for a good cause.
They have been used as part of a Housing Works home ownership tutoring program, where people move in and rent them while working to qualify for a loan to buy their first house.
Now, the agency intends to sell them as affordable housing.
Kelly Fisher of Housing Works said the key to their success is working with the city to create more affordable housing options.
"The partnership between Housing Works and the city of Redmond is critical for what we are trying to do," Fisher said. "We wouldn't be able to provide these homes for families that are experiencing low income without that partnership."
Fisher also said the agreement with the city to buy the two homes include 35-year deed restrictions.
That means the houses will stay affordable for years to come, even if they are sold several times.
Fisher said based on the median income for the area, that means the houses will sell for a maximum of $180,000, at this point in time.
The city will wait another week for public comments on the sale of the homes, and if there are no conflicts, the sale will be made official on June 18.