Habitat for Humanity of Lincoln County (HFHLC) is jumping in to help address a critical housing shortage in Lincoln County that has been exacerbated by the loss of nearly 300 homes due the Echo Mountain Complex fire. “Housing is a basic human need, and safe, decent, stable housing is critically important in our new reality where self-isolating is key to staying healthy,” said Lucinda Taylor, Executive Director of HFHLC. “From units for very-low income families to workforce housing, the need is only increasing and we will all be challenged to develop creative solutions that enjoy community support.”
Currently, HFHLC is recruiting partner families to purchase two new homes in Lincoln City. Ground breaking in the Garden Estates area of the Palisades neighborhood is expected to begin in early 2021 with completion expected in late 2022. The size and number of bedrooms for each home will be customized to the size of the selected partner family. Individuals and families of all sizes are encouraged to apply. Applications are due by December 1, 2020 and the selection process will be complete by the end of January 2021. Applications are available on the HFHLC website at habitatlincoln.org, from the ReStores in Lincoln City and Newport, and from the Habitat office by calling 541.574.4437 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Partner families are selected based on need, ability to pay, and willingness to partner. To qualify, household income must fall between 45-60% of annual median income (AMI) for Lincoln County, based on household size. The household of one or more people must have a current need for affordable shelter, the ability to pay a mortgage based on 30% of gross annual income, and be willing to partner with HFHLC.
Partnership requirements include putting in 350 to 500 hours of “sweat equity” and participating in financial foundations and homebuyer education courses. The partner family must also maintain their current level of income and not take on any new debt between the time they sign a partnership agreement and the time they close on the purchase of the home.
Building a Habitat Home is a community effort. The land for this build was donated by Lincoln County and has a deed restriction that requires HFHLC to retain ownership of the land to ensure permanent affordability. By removing the cost of the land from the purchase price, it makes the home more affordable over time.
In an effort to continue addressing the need for more housing, the City of Lincoln City has budgeted funds to help pay for preconstruction. “The City is thrilled that Habitat selected Lincoln City for their next project, and we’re delighted to support the addition of two new affordable home ownership opportunities in our community,” says City Economic Development Director, Alison Robertson.
Oregon Housing and Community Services through the Local Innovation Fast Track program, commonly referred to as LIFT funding, has awarded grant funds to support a portion of the project.However, like all Habitat builds, discounted and donated products and services from local businesses and contractors are needed, as well as many volunteer hours from individuals and organizations.HFHLC continues to raise funds and is accepting donations to help pay for materials and related expenses.