The proposed mass timber solution aimed at solving the state’s affordable housing problem will get a test run in Central Oregon.
Hacienda CDC, a community development group in Portland, gave a first look at their mass timber modular homes on Friday.
“One of our core objectives for this project is to test these prototypes in different climates in Oregon,” said innovation director for Hacienda CDC Leticia Cervantes.
One of those climates will be the High Desert, specifically Madras. A Central Oregon family selected by Casa of Oregon will test the home.
“We want to learn how the families that are using the house and the appliances are doing. We are going to interact directly with the homeowner,” said Cervantes.
Every three months for a year, the organization will inspect the houses. Inspectors will check “the material, the resistance, if we have any flaws or moisture, which is something important to measure,” said Cervantes. “We also want to receive feedback on the design of the house.”
Mass timber products are compressed layers of wood that are strong but light building materials.
In 2021, the Oregon legislature approved $5 million for the pilot program.
If the houses do well during inspections, construction and distribution will continue.
“We are going to donate these houses directly to the organizations that we have partnered with, and then they are going to run their internal process to decide which family is going to be able to live in this house,” said Cervantes.
The first batch of six houses is expected to be finished in April of this year.
The units have two to three bedrooms each and range from 426-square-feet. to 1,136-square-feet.