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Habitat for Humanity of Lincoln County (HFHLC) received $140,000 in Local Innovation Fast Track (LIFT) grant funding from Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS) to support construction of two new homes in the Palisades area of Lincoln City.

HFHLC plans to break ground early next year and anticipates completion by the end of 2022. Additional funding is needed, however, with a goal of raising at least half the total construction cost prior to breaking ground.

“There are so many uncertainties right now and the impact of the pandemic on our cost to build will make this a challenge,” said Lucinda Taylor, Executive Director of HFHLC. “Regardless, we’re committed to finishing these homes by the end of 2022. Individuals, businesses, and other organizations who would like to partner with us on this project are encouraged to reach out to me.”

The land for these homes was donated by Lincoln County. Both the donation from the County and the LIFT grant require the homes to be placed in permanent affordability, a new shared equity model recently adopted by HFHLC. With this model, the purchaser owns the home and leases the land from HFHLC.

The deed to the home includes a restriction that it can only be sold to a low-income family, and the sales price is based on a pre-determined formula that allows the current homeowner to build equity while still maintaining affordability of the home for the next purchaser.

“This is great news for the families who will be served,” said Lincoln County Commissioner Claire Hall, chair of the Oregon Housing Stability Council. “Years of work by housing advocates from around the state is finally paying off in the form of investments in rental properties and home ownership opportunities for hard-working families.”

Applications for homeownership will open September 15. Applicants must meet income qualifications and be willing to partner with Habitat to be considered, and the opportunity is open to all residents of Lincoln County. Applicants who meet minimum qualifications will be forwarded to a Homeowner Selection Committee, staffed by community volunteers, for additional screening. Once selected, the future Habitat homeowners are required to complete financial education and homebuyer education training as well as put in sweat equity.

For those who are physically able, that means helping build their home or volunteering on critical home repair projects for local low-income homeowners. For others, it might mean volunteering at one of the ReStores in Newport or Lincoln City. HFHLC will advertise widely and provide additional details once they are ready to begin accepting applications.

With a mission of bringing people together to build homes, communities and hope, the Habitat model relies heavily on volunteers to help with construction activities.

The pandemic has significantly reduced the organizations’ ability to recruit and utilize volunteers in a safe and effective manner.

“We still have a long road ahead of us before we welcome new Lincoln City homeowners to the Habitat family,” says Taylor, “but the LIFT grant is a huge step forward. We’re grateful for the support of the community, our volunteers, donors, and board of directors, and especially thankful to County Commissioner Claire Hall who voted to approve this funding in her role as Chair of the Oregon Housing Stability Council.”

For more information or to help support this project, please contact Lucinda Taylor at director@habitatlincoln.org or 541.351.8078.

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