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In Sisters, a new neighborhood targets the city’s housing crisis

Once completed, Sisters Woodlands will provide over 350 units of housing and commercial space.
Build LLC
Sisters Woodlands
Once completed, Sisters Woodlands will provide over 350 units of housing and commercial space.

Officials in Sisters say the construction of a new neighborhood could help ease the city’s housing crisis.

More than 3,000 people live in Sisters, and that’s projected to double in the next two decades, according to Portland State University.

“We're seeing a lot of retirees," said Sisters Community Development Director Scott Woodford. “We're seeing a lot of folks who can work from anywhere coming here for the quality of life and the small town feel.”

However, Woodford said the city has nearly filled its Urban Growth Boundary, and it can’t expand further. And he said that’s contributed to soaring housing prices.

Now, a group of local residents have begun developing an unused forest property. “Sisters Woodlands” will contain over 350 units of cottages, apartments and commercial space.

“Nothing had happened on this property for years,” said Tim Kizziar, the Principle Broker for Sisters Woodlands. “It just sat here in the city limits and we all drove by it.”’

As part of the development, Sisters Woodlands has partnered with the Sisters Habitat for Humanity to provide some affordable units.

“Our demand is always higher than our supply,” said Kizziar. “So the biggest challenge here is finding ways to make housing more affordable for the workforce folks.”

A cottage at the Sisters Woodlands.
Eammon Walker
Sisters Woodlands
A cottage at the Sisters Woodlands.

Woodford said some community members are concerned about the development of this forested land. But he said Sister Woodlands has taken care to preserve the natural landscape.

“A lot of maneuvering was done just to save trees,” said Kizziar. “From a real estate standpoint, I estimate the developers gave up at least a million and a half dollars worth of lot.”

Woodford said the development won’t solve the housing crisis in Sisters on its own, but it could be part of a larger solution.

“I don't see them necessarily bringing down the cost of housing,” he said, “but it might have an effect on keeping the meteoric rise of housing costs to more manageable levels.”

According to Kizziar, construction on Sisters Woodlands is likely to continue for another seven to 10 years. The first round of properties are now being sold.

Meanwhile, officials in Sisters will consider other means of lowering housing prices. This month, the City Council will meet to discuss expanding the city’s Urban Growth Boundary.

Nathan Wilk joined the KLCC News Team in 2022. He is a graduate from the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication. Born in Portland, Wilk began working in radio at a young age, serving as a DJ and public affairs host across Oregon.