A $30 million development of 107 apartments slated for low-income households gets a green light in Lincoln City, having made it through legislative channels by securing lottery backed funds and tax credits.
The housing project will be constructed at NE 25th Street by nonprofit builder Innovative Housing Inc., and will consist of 11 buildings, including 2- and 3- floor residentials with 41 one-bedroom units, 50 two-bedroom units, and 16 three-bedroom apartments. Plans also include a single-story community building that includes laundry facilities, a rental office, a community room, a community kitchen, covered play area and resident services office. Other amenities will include a playground, a community garden and a fitness trail.
To qualify for one of the units, renters will have to prove they make no more than 60 percent of the area median income, which is $35,524. Under terms of the state funding, 11 units must be affordable to people making 30 percent of that.
“For me, housing is a big priority on the coast and in rural areas of the state,” Sen. Dick Anderson (R-Lincoln City) said. “I am proud to get this over the finish line for these communities so that more people will have access to affordable housing.”
Anderson said he realized some rural projects were rejected for another year, so he searched for other funding while sitting on the Ways and Means Committee. He worked with Committee Co-Chair Senator Johnson (D-Scappoose) and Senator Hansell (R-Athena) to advocate for the passage of their three rural projects.
According to Anderson, research shows that 55 percent of Lincoln County residents are rent-burdened, paying more than 30 percent of their monthly income on housing.
“Without Senator Anderson’s actions, we would still be waiting another year for possible funding,” Lincoln City Economic Development Director Alison Robertson said. “As a result, we will be able to start this project much sooner.”
State Representative David Gomberg (D-Central Coast), who serves as one of the vice-chairs of the Ways and Means Committee, said he was in favor of the project.
“Affordable workforce housing is a problem that ripples through our entire economy,” said Gomberg. “There are help wanted signs everywhere but people who want to work here can’t find a place to live here. This new Lincoln City project is going to make a major difference.”
Lincoln County Commissioner Claire Hall, who sits as chair of the Oregon Housing Stability Council, said the council approved $30 million in state funding for affordable housing in Lincoln City. Hall was part of a small workgroup that developed the concept for Local Innovation and Fast Track (LIFT), which has an objective to build affordable housing for low income families.
“I’m pleased that the LIFT bond program, which I advocated for in its early stages, has made a third affordable housing project possible for Lincoln County,” Hall said. “The Fisterra Garden Town Homes in Yachats and Surf View Village in Yachats have helped provide critically-needed housing for our local workforce.”
Workforce housing has been a big issue in Lincoln City and local government has been making moves to address the problem.
“Housing and childcare are our city’s biggest needs,” City Councilor Mitch Parsons said. “This project is going to provide some severely needed workforce housing. In an area where decisions are seen as pro-tourist or pro-local, this is a huge win for locals.”