Oregon’s Project Turnkey was awarded three grants totaling $11.4 million for properties in Corvallis, Eugene and Lincoln City to purchase and transform hotels for temporary lodging of those affected by crisis.
“This is wonderful news for survivors of the Echo Mountain Fire,” Lincoln County Commissioner Claire Hall said. “North Lincoln County’s critical housing shortage was exacerbated by the fire. Too many individuals and families are still living in their vehicles, are doubled up with friends or relatives, or in other unstable situations. This will give them a safe, long-term place to work on rebuilding their homes and their lives.”
Corvallis Housing First received a Project Turnkey grant for $2,475,000 in state funds to purchase and transform a 24-room hotel in Corvallis. Priority will be given to the most vulnerable members of the Corvallis community who are unhoused, including people with disabilities, veterans, people of color and seniors.
Lane County Human Services received a grant for $5,560,000 to purchase and transform a 50-room hotel in Eugene. Priority will be given to wildfire evacuees.
Northwest Coastal Housing is slated to receive $3,348,000 to purchase a 42-room hotel along Highway 101 in Lincoln City. Priority will be given to community members displaced by the Echo Mountain Complex Fire. Located at 1014 NE Hwy 101, the new “Phoenix Rising NW” is anticipated to be in use beginning March 2021.
“We are so grateful for this opportunity to help our neighbors impacted by the wildfires, COVID and other crisis by providing temporary lodging complete with service navigation,” Executive Director of Northwest Coastal Housing Sheila Stiley said. “Our goal is to ease the trauma, provide our occupants with lodging, help them to stabilize and breathe. This is an unconventional and innovative way of accomplishing just that, which seems to be a growing trend when responding to crisis, and we could not have succeeded without overwhelming support from our partners.”
Earlier this month, Oregon Community Foundation announced the first Project Turnkey grant of $4.2 million for Options for Helping Residents of Ashland to purchase and transform an Ashland motel. A planned opening date of March 2021 has been proposed.
“The scale of this humanitarian crises for unsheltered Oregonians is enormous,” Hacienda CDC CEO and Project Turnkey Advisory Committee Member Dr. Ernesto Fonseca said. “Project Turnkey is one innovative and cost-effective solution that brings affordable housing in record time to people in critical need.”
Some local Lincoln City residents have expressed concern over the buying of a hotel and using it to house homeless not affected by the Echo Mountain Wildfires. Residents said they are worried the hotel will become a haven for drugs, given their recent decriminalization. Others in the community welcome the hotel purchase, saying something needed to be done, but added most wildfire victims would rather stay in an RV on someone’s property rather than a hotel.
About Project Turnkey
The Oregon Legislature allocated a total of $65 million for Project Turnkey for the purpose of acquiring motels/hotels for use as non-congregate shelter for people experiencing homelessness or at-risk of homelessness. Two discrete funds were provided by the state: one totaling $30 million to be awarded in counties and tribal communities impacted by the 2020 wildfires; and one totaling $35 million for the remaining 28 counties in the state. Oregon Community Foundation is administering both funds through an application and selection process, with guidance from an Advisory Committee of state, local, and community stakeholders. For more information, please visit Project Turnkey online.