The Agency is excited to announce that the application is now open for the Gateway site. Click the button below to apply!
Rogue Retreat will select all residents in coordination with the Phoenix-Talent School District. Residents must receive permission from Rogue Retreat before relocating to the Site. No public parking of RV trailers, buses, or other temporary housing is permitted without permission from Rogue Retreat.
Gateway Housing Project Update
The Board of Directors of the Urban Renewal Agency of the City of Talent is excited to share that Rogue Retreat now hosts more than
148 individuals who were displaced by the Almeda Fire
and continues to work with the
to ensure the priority population of families within the Phoenix-Talent School District is placed at the Gateway.
The Urban Renewal Agency of the City of Talent leases the Gateway Site to Rogue Retreat who provides the property management, case support, outreach, and day-to-day management of the transitional housing site. The Urban Renewal Agency of the City of Talent offers a supportive role but does not make case decisions on applicants who apply to be located on the Gateway Site. Rogue Retreat continues to move families into the Gateway Site each Wednesday and expects the site to be fully occupied by spring 2022.
The Gateway transitional housing site paves the way to long-term permanent development on the Gateway Site, attracting more than 2.3 million dollars to the Talent Community that will fund temporary housing for those most in need -- and permanent development in the long term. You can read more about the project in the following news articles:
NPR's All Things Considered:
Jefferson Public Radio:
Gateway Transitional Housing Project
Following the Almeda Fire, the Board of Directors of the Urban Renewal Agency of Talent quickly jumped into action to see how the Gateway Site could serve as a transitional housing site for those displaced by the Almeda Fire. With the help of Walker Macy, who oversaw the original concept plan for the Gateway Site, the Agency developed a transitional housing to permanent development plan that moves forward the vision on the Gateway Site for the community while providing housing to those most in need within the Talent Community. By moving forward with the transitional housing project on the Gateway Site, the Agency is paving the way for long-term, more affordable housing to be situated on the Gateway Site -- and realizing the community vision on the site.
Following numerous conversations with other local and regional bodies, the Agency partnered with the Phoenix-Talent School District to prioritize students and families displaced from their homes to reside on the transitional site once completed. According to estimates by the School District, over 696 students and families were displaced during the fires, with many students and families still struggling to find permanent, safe housing. Ultimately, the Gateway Site provides an ideal site to improve permanent infrastructure within Talent (by installing utility lines, water, sewer, streets, etc.) while also helping those most in need within our community by providing them with a safe space to call home. The Board of Directors of the Urban Renewal Agency of the City of Talent is committed to moving forward their vision of bringing those displaced back to Talent, while building “stronger together” through projects such as the Gateway Site and other housing efforts led by the City. This unique project and vision are also shared with local partners, such as the People’s Bank of Commerce Foundation, whose employees also understand the long-range vision of the project and how the project paves the way to realize the Talent Community's vision for the Gateway Site while providing short-term housing for those most in need. The State of Oregon has also backed the project, offering to finance the construction costs on the Gateway Site. These large philanthropic monetary commitments to the Talent Community are helping Talent lead the way in recovery housing while also paving the way for long-term, more affordable housing within Talent.
This project represents one of the first locally-driven transitional housing efforts in the region, state, and nation. This project also includes collaborations with many local and regional partners, including but not limited to Talent Maker City, Rogue Retreat, the Talent Public Arts Committee, the Talent Urban Forestry Committee, and the Talent Planning Commission. The leadership of the City of Talent and the Urban Renewal Agency remains committed to bring families home, and we hope that this project helps displaced students and families return to Talent.
Gateway Transitonal Housing Timeline
The Urban Renewal Agency of the City of Talent quickly jumped into action following the Almeda Fire to design, engineer, and construct the first locally-driven transtional housing site within the nation. This unique project represents the Talent's Community quick action and responsiveness to the mass displacement of thousands of community members. The Board of Directors and the City Council remain committed to ensuring that each and every member of the Talent Community can return to their home, whether FEMA-eligible or non-FEMA-eligible. This project is unique in that it specifically helps those who are non-FEMA-eligible return to their homes and schools.
September 8, 2020 Almeda Fire displaces more than 2,000 community members in the Talent Community
September 16, 2020 Agency's Board of Directors approve temporary shelter concept for Gateway Site
September - January 2021 Design and engineering of the Gateway Transitional Project
February 3, 2021 Agency held a well-attended Town Hall on the Gateway Transitional Project
February - March 2021 Agency works with partners to finalize project funding
April 5, 2021 Agency receives Temporary Emergency Accommodations approval for the Project
April 19, 2021 Agency publishes invitation to bid for the construction of the Gateway Project
May 13, 2021 Agency receives bids for the construciton of the Project
June 14, 2021 Agency holds groundbreaking for the Project
Gateway Groundbreaking Ceremony
Gateway Committed Construction Funding Sources
The Urban Renewal Agency of the City of Talent has remained committed to funding the project through outside resources. The Agency continues to attract financial backing from partners who understand the importance of bringing families back to their communities. To date, the Agency has received the following funding commitments that are paving the way to the realization of the project:
$1,000,000 Oregon Housing and Community Services grant +
$700,000 Oregon Housing and Community Services ultra-low interest (1%), payment deferred loan (3 years) +
$38,500 People's Bank of Commerce Foundation design and engineering grant +
$250,000 People's Bank of Commerce Foundation phase I construction grant +
$75,000 Oregon Community Foundation grant +
$150,000 Rogue Action Center grant +
$47,500 Rogue Climate grant +
$12,000 Medford United Church of Christ donation = $2,273,000
In addition to these significant monetary contributions, the Agency has received thousands of hours of in-kind contributions and work from partners and local volunteers. The Agency is extremely thankful for each of these financial and in-kind contributions that pave the way to realizing both the temporary, transitional housing on the Gateway Site paving the way with permanent infrastructure improvements that will help realize the long term vision for the Gateway.
Homes for Families
The Agency is excited to share that in close cooperation with the State of Oregon and Rogue Retreat, it has secured 53 PUMA trailers for residents on the Gateway Site. The State of Oregon competitively purchased these trailers directly from the manufacturer in Iowa, in close collaboration with local and regional partners working with the families who understand their needs. The trailers will be delivered to the Gateway Site during October and November. The Agency would like to thank the State of Oregon for their generous purchase of brand-new 2022 trailers for the families on the Gateway Site. After delivery, the trailer titles will be transferred to Rogue Retreat.
The State of Oregon continues to provide funding to help families find permanent homes within communities. ACCESS and other state and regional partners will continue to work with families who reside on the Gateway Site with the priority to identify long-term housing solutions. ACCESS has established the center for community resilience to provide wrap-around case management and support to families still displaced from the Almeda Fire. You can learn more about the Center for Community Resilience online at https://www.accesshelps.org/ccr/. Rogue Retreat will enter into participation agreements with residents on the Site. Rogue Retreat will determine program participation fees, based on the income of families residing on the site. The Agency has leased the property to Rogue Retreat for the term of the Temporary Emergency Accommodations permit that was issued by the City of Talent.
Building the Gateway Locally
On April 19th, 2021, the Urban Renewal Agency of the City of Talent published an invitation to bid for the Gateway Project. As part of the bidding process, the Agency solicited competitive bids for the installation of infrastructure that would house families on the Site. The lowest, responsible bidder for the project was Pilot Rock Excavation, INC, a women-owned, Rogue Valley contractor. The project's construction is subject to BOLI rules and regulations.
Building Safe Homes for Talent Families
The Agency would like to thank its partners at Oregon Legislature for their efforts to pass legislation that permits and paves the way to realize transitional housing projects, such as the project under construction at the Gateway Site. Under ORS 446.265, as well as OSSC 101.2.21(14), and ORSC R 220.127.116.11(6), local governments are solely responsible for review and authorization of transitional housing as these projects fall outside the scope of the state building code and land use permitting requirements. In order to assure utility adequacy and public safety, the Agency has contracted with a third-party licensed engineer that will provide inspections during construction and upon completion and will provide a written report that will be submitted for review to the City’s Public Works Department.
The Transitional Housing Project was designed through the public meeting process with members of the Talent Community overseeing and providing input to the project design. The transitional housing project was also designed by the original visioning partners of the Gateway long-term vision, Walker Macy, whose team worked tirelessly to ensure that the temporary, transitional housing the Gateway Site paved the way to realizing the long-term community vision for the Gateway Site. Please see map of the transtional housing project below.
Gateway Site Realizing the Long-Term Vision
One of the unique aspects of this project is its role in helping pave the way to realizing the long-term community vision on the Gateway Site. By installing permanent infrastructure, the project will provide shovel-ready sites for future long-term housing development on the Gateway Site that delivers on the community vision for the Site. Following the construction of the transitional housing Site, Agency staff will continue to work with partners to find safe, permanent housing for each family housed on the Gateway Site, while also developing new partners to help realize the long-term community vision for the Site that the permanent infrastructure will help realize. See the photos below that highlight permanent improvements associated with this project.