Molalla Gardens



Redevelopment of a 30-unit affordable rental housing complex to produce 47 new and rehabbed units.


Built as federally subsidized housing in the 1970s, Molalla Gardens has provided affordable housing to residents of rural Clackamas County for more than 40 years. Catholic Charities preserved and renovated the property, previously named Rondel Court, in the 1990s. By 2015, water infiltration and two fires had damaged one of the buildings, and the property’s family-sized apartments no longer suited the needs of the area’s changing population. The project was nearing the end of its low-income tax credit compliance period, and HDC worked with Catholic Charities to financially restructure and redevelop it.

The redevelopment of Molalla Gardens resulted in a net gain of 17 housing units. Housing and onsite services were reconfigured to serve the needs of Clackamas County’s most vulnerable low-income residents. Families that are survivors of domestic violence have preference for four of the 47 units and receive services from Catholic Charities’ El Programa Hispano Unica Project. Seventeen units preference seniors and disabled individuals, who access meal delivery, medication education, and other services from the Molalla Senior Center.

Creative Solutions

Finance: HDC’s finance team worked with Catholic Charities and with public and private funders to assess feasibility and to assemble $11.3 million in financing for Molalla Gardens. HDC’s key contributions included modeling the use of low-income-housing tax credits, negotiating with tax credit investors, and partnering with Clackamas County to deliver federal HOME funds totaling nearly 12 percent of development costs.

Design and Construction: HDC worked with architects and contractors to create a cost-efficient, sustainable design that addressed Catholic Charities’ goals. One damaged building was demolished, two existing buildings fully rehabbed, and four new buildings constructed to produce a mix of housing and community spaces that meet residents’ needs. The new buildings are designed as townhouses over flats, resulting in 11 accessible ground-floor one-bedroom units suited to senior and disabled residents. An enlarged community room provides space for gatherings. A manager’s office with a separate meeting space accommodates private meetings between residents and resident service providers.

Caritas Housing, an affiliate of Catholic Charities

Molalla, Oregon

Financial structuring, predevelopment loan, and construction management

→ Carleton Hart Architecture
→ LMC Construction
→ Oregon Housing and Community Services
→ Clackamas County
→ NOAH (Network for Oregon Affordable Housing)
→ U.S. Bank

→ Low-income-housing tax credit equity (9%)
→ HOME funds
→ Oregon Multifamily Energy Program funds
→ Oregon General Housing Account Program (GHAP) funds
→ Construction and permanent loans

Residential: 44,077

Construction: $6.7 million
Total Development: $11.3 million

Spring 2015 to Fall 2017