Marylhurst Commons Groundbreaking

Last November, Mercy Housing Northwest, in partnership with the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary (SNJM) celebrated the groundbreaking of our first affordable housing community in Oregon. The event was held at Clark Commons on the campus of Marylhurst University in Lake Oswego, which is also the site of this new community.

When completed, Marylhurst Commons Affordable Housing will feature a three-and-four-story U-shaped building with 100 affordable, energy-efficient apartment homes. 80% of the homes will have two and three bedrooms meeting a critical need for affordable family housing in the Lake Oswego area. There will also be onsite offices for management and Resident Services staff, a community room with a kitchen, and a technology center for residents.

The community will also be one of the most energy-efficient, affordable housing communities in the county. With support from SNJM, the project is pursuing Passive House USA (PHIUS) certification, a rigorous performance-based energy efficiency certification. We expect the building to use 40% less electricity than a conventional design and will not consume any fossil fuels.

Marylhurst University, founded by the Sisters in 1893, was Oregon’s oldest Catholic university and the first liberal arts college for women established in the Pacific Northwest. Its mission of educating underserved students continued until its closure in 2018. When the property reverted to the Sisters’ ownership, they conducted extensive community outreach to understand how the former campus could continue to serve community needs. Affordable housing emerged as a top priority from those conversations. In 2020, SNJM partnered with Mercy Housing Northwest to explore devoting a portion of the land to affordable housing, a critical unmet need in the Portland metro area.

Marylhurst Commons is expected to open in 2024.