The Port of Morrow is located in Boardman and acts as a major economic driver for the entire eastern Oregon/Washington region. It was estimated that at one time, 1,400 employees worked for the Port and its associated businesses, but 60-70 percent of that workforce commutes from neighboring areas such as Hermiston and the Tri-Cities. The area suffered a clear jobs-housing imbalance, where workers drove long distances and were unable to find or afford housing near their employment.
The Boardman Workforce Housing and Community Development project sought solutions to the development of new, affordable workforce housing options. Their goal of improving the jobs-housing imbalance hoped to reduce emissions and traffic while providing economic development and community prosperity opportunities.