The Bud Clark Commons housing project – which won an award from the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for its modern architecture in May – uses the small, closet-sized room to heat homeless residents’ clothing and other belongings in an effort to combat bedbug infestations, according to local news reports.
The special room cost the city’s housing authority $35,000 to build, according to an Associated Press report Thursday.
Bud Clark Commons is a $47-million, apartment-style housing project that offers modern accommodations to Portland’s homeless population. The complex includes 130 studio apartments with amenities including on-site laundry, showers for the homeless, common areas with free Internet and cable television.
In May, HUD and the American Institute of Architects (AIA) gave Bud Clark Commons the "2012 Creating Community Connections" award for its “warm, inviting atmosphere.”
According to AIA, the housing project “creates a place of invitation and dignity in a warm, lively kind of way.” The organization noted the use of environmentally certified Douglas fir used in the building as well as its use of natural lighting.
“It is a gorgeous project. This approach should be imitated,” AIA said.
The project received $3.3 million in stimulus funds from HUD, according to Home Forward the Portland housing authority, and has been certified as a LEED Platinum green building incorporating water reclamation and solar panel water heating systems.
A "vulnerability index" is used to select residents, providing a home to citizens in the most danger of dying on the street.