Monday April 19, 2021

Lincoln County to donate foreclosed properties to Lincoln City nonprofits

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Lucinda Taylor (Habitat for Humanity) and Sheila Stiley (NW Coastal Housing)

Each year Lincoln County acquires property as a result of tax foreclosures and this week, Lincoln County Commissioners will make a final motion to donate three tax foreclosed properties to two local nonprofit organizations: Habitat for Humanity and Northwest Coastal Housing.

The lots, located in Lincoln City, will eventually be built with single family residences.

Lincoln County’s Property Team reviews the inventory to determine best use for available lands. In an effort to make a small but meaningful contribution to the lack of affordable and workforce housing the team became optimistic when several recent properties were identified.

Property Manager, Amy Howard said, “We found properties in Garden Estate subdivision of Lincoln City… We took these properties in tax foreclosure from the developer, so this is best case scenario to get these properties developed.”

In previous years, the County has explored the possibilities of donating land suitable for single family residences.

Commissioner Kaety Jacobson

“Many of our tax foreclosed properties have no legal access, are not buildable, and have other complexities that create difficulty,” Commissioner Kaety Jacobson said. “These vacant lots in Lincoln City were build ready and in a good neighborhood. I thought they would meet the needs of our nonprofit housing partners.”

Jacobson continued, “It is a drop in the bucket of a huge housing issue. However, as organizations and as individuals we need to ask ourselves, what can we do? Even if it is a drop in the bucket. This will help families.”

Both Habitat for Humanity and Northwest Coastal Housing have agreed to keep the properties as affordable housing for thirty years. Lucinda Taylor, Habitat’s Executive Director, said “We’re looking into utilizing the Community Land Trust which would put the house into affordable housing in perpetuity. At the very least we can put deed restrictions that keep it in affordability through the thirty-year period.”

Commissioner Jacobson said, “As foreclosures come in in the future, I’ll certainly be checking to see what might be of interest to other partners, but many of our properties require a lot of clean up and work. Our goal is always to get those properties back out and being used for housing, whether that be through our traditional auctions and sales or through donations. And, that means they are going back on the tax roll.”

The final resolution to approve the property transfer will appear on the Board of Commissioners Agenda under Decision/Action (Sept. 11). Commissioner Meetings take place each week at 9:30 a.m., Lincoln County Courthouse, 225 West Olive Street, Room #108, Newport.

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