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News / Clark County News

Fourth Plain Community Commons opens, adding to stock of affordable housing in Vancouver

Development includes apartments, community space, location for Vancouver Farmers Market satellite

By Mia Ryder-Marks, Columbian staff reporter
Published: September 25, 2023, 2:40pm
6 Photos
Dancers from Vancouver Ballet Folklorico performed.
Dancers from Vancouver Ballet Folklorico performed. (Elayna Yussen for The Columbian) Photo Gallery

With the snip of a red ribbon, Vancouver welcomed its newest affordable housing building on Saturday.

Fourth Plain Community Commons, on the southeast corner of East Fourth Plain Boulevard and Norris Road, is a multipurpose development.

The building offers affordable housing, with more than 100 units on its upper floors. The ground floor is a community space dedicated to hosting various community resources and events.

The downstairs space includes a commercial kitchen to support emerging food-based businesses, shared office space for residents and an outdoor public plaza with infrastructure to support a Vancouver Farmers Market satellite market.

The City of Vancouver and Vancouver Housing Authority collaborated on the affordable housing project.

At Saturday’s event, local leaders including U.S. Rep. Marie Gluesenkamp-Perez, D-Skamania, Sen. Annette Cleveland, D-Vancouver, and Vancouver Mayor Anne McEnerny-Ogle spoke. Community members also showed support for the development.

“I’m happy to see the community embracing the new development and collectively being excited for moving forward,” said Kiana Coburn, marketing coordinator for the Fourth Plain Community Commons.

Coburn said that having a commercial area to support local business and resources, as well as a residential community is “instrumental.”

“Part of building up that community is not just about building up businesses or resources, but it’s also bringing people into it,” Coburn said.

Fourth Plain Community Commons was made possible in part by the City’s Affordable Housing Fund, which was approved by taxpayers in 2016 and 2023.

Coburn said that the newest affordable housing building and community space hub is an example of equity.

“Our focus is to bring equitable help to the community so it’s not just about equality and resources and bringing more things to the table – it’s also inviting people to take seats at the table and make sure that the underserved parts of our community have access to resources.”

Residents have begun moving in. Vancouver Housing Authority is still accepting applications for the affordable nonsubsidized units: https://vhausa.org/housing/fourth-plain-commons-wait-list-faq.

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This story was made possible by Community Funded Journalism, a project from The Columbian and the Local Media Foundation. Top donors include the Ed and Dollie Lynch Fund, Patricia, David and Jacob Nierenberg, Connie and Lee Kearney, Steve and Jan Oliva, The Cowlitz Tribal Foundation and the Mason E. Nolan Charitable Fund. The Columbian controls all content. For more information, visit columbian.com/cfj.