A Longview housing agency this week held a grand opening for a new affordable apartment complex in Long Beach that will serve homeless families, people with disabilities and veterans.
Driftwood Point Apartments, located at 100 10th St. Northeast in Long Beach, is a 27-unit complex, according to a press release. It will primarily serve homeless families with children and individuals, but it will also have units set aside for people with disabilities and veterans. The apartments range from one to three bedrooms.
Housing Opportunities of Southwest Washington (formerly the Longview Housing Authority) will manage the apartments, but the agency also has partnered with Joint Pacific County Housing Authority.
The property is funded by the state Housing Trust Fund, state tax credits and Pacific County, which funded pre-development costs and supportive services. US Bank, which provided the “bulk” of the financing through tax credits, will retain majority ownership of the facility, Housing Opportunities CEO Jennifer Westerman said Wednesday.
“The project has regulatory agreements that will keep it affordable for the next 40-50 years,” Westerman said.
The apartments are already almost completely filled, with only four still vacant, she added.
“We continue to have a lengthy waiting list of persons needing one bedrooms,” Westerman said. “This is a need that we are seeing increase and will incorporate into our development moving forward.”
About 15% of people in Pacific County are living in poverty, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. One in five people under the age of 65 have a disability. And there are nearly 2,400 veterans — about 11% of the total population (22,000).
Next, the housing agency will begin pre-development work on a housing project in Raymond, Westerman said.
Housing Opportunities has taken criticism from the Longview City Council in recent years for not focusing enough on new development in Longview. Westerman, who became CEO in May, said both the Long Beach and Raymond projects were already in the works before she joined the housing agency. She has since promised that the next new project will be in Longview.
Nonetheless, having a regional housing authority that serves Cowlitz (except Kelso and Kalama), Wahkiakum, Pacific and Lewis counties is beneficial for many reasons, Westerman said. The agency is more competitive for funding and has received an additional 60 low-income housing vouchers. More revenue comes into the Longview area as a result of the other development. And the housing authority earns developer fees that can be put towards future projects.
“As a regional housing authority, we are stronger together,” she said. “Longview should be proud to have a regional housing authority headquartered here that serves Southwest Washington.”