Northwest Coastal Housing’s application for funding to purchase a Lincoln City motel to house people displaced by the Echo Mountain Fire has moved to the second round of review.
Sheila Stiley, executive director of the nonprofit housing agency, said while this does not guarantee funding, it is an important step forward for the project. The Oregon Community Foundation (OCF) is administering the grant monies recently approved by the state legislature’s Emergency Board. The goal of Project Turnkey is to acquire 1,000 motel units statewide at a projected cost of $65 million.
The grant had a fast turnaround requirement; submissions were due ten days after the request for applications was issued. Stiley said an application of this complexity would have taken months to put together in normal circumstances. “This was a real testament to the spirit of collaboration we have among community partners” she said. “Government agencies, non-profits and other social service providers all came together to produce an excellent proposal.”
NW Coastal Housing already has a signed purchase agreement on the property, contingent on funds being awarded. The name of the property will be announced if OCF gives the project the green light.
OCF staff has indicated they will be in touch with Stiley during the week of Dec. 7th to begin their due diligence process. If the project continues to move ahead, closing could happen as soon as February.
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to acquire an asset that will be a community benefit for years to come,” Stiley said.
-by Claire E. Hall