SEASIDE — The Northwest Oregon Housing Authority has taken ownership of more than 40 units at the Clatsop Shores Apartments in Seaside from Clatsop County.
The regional housing authority, which has managed the county’s affordable housing stock since 2013, took on more than $3 million in debt from the Bank of the Pacific to acquire the properties, located along U.S. Highway 101 on the northern banks of Mill Creek.
Rents at the complex are based on incomes between 50% and 80% of the region’s median.
The county purchased Clatsop Shores in 2009 from a private developer turning the apartments into high-end condominiums.
A settlement over the sale of the 300-unit Emerald Heights Apartments in Astoria to a private developer in the early 1990s tasked the county with maintaining 100 units of affordable housing.
The county began to merge its housing authority with the regional group in 2013 and has since been transferring over all its properties. The only property left to transfer is the Owens-Adair Building, a former hospital in downtown Astoria remodeled into a 46-unit complex for seniors and people with disabilities.
Todd Johnston, executive director of the regional housing authority, said the agency would assume the debt the county has on the Owens-Adair property and apply for money to fix some brickwork and replace the roof.
With the acquisition of Owens-Adair, the regional housing authority will own 180 units in the county, including 60 in Warrenton, 74 in Seaside and 46 in Astoria.
“There’s more affordable housing needed, especially in the last few years as rents have gone up,” he said.
Having a larger portfolio of housing helps the regional authority get financing for future projects, Johnston said. It recently secured more than $14 million in federal, state and private funds to construct 60 units in Tillamook for people at or below 60 percent of the area median income.
The agency is partnering on the project with KemperCo LLC, a company contracted by the Tillamook County Housing Task Force to develop the project.