LONG BEACH — Homeless families in need of housing can still apply for a unit in Long Beach’s new affordable housing complex, the Driftwood Point Apartments.
The housing project is on 10th Street Northeast and Oregon Avenue and will create 27 apartment units for low-income households. The units vary in size between one to three bedrooms. The complex also has a community center, a coin-operated laundry room and a meeting space.
The Driftwood Point project set aside 75 percent of its housing for homeless families with children, veterans and households that are disabled, said Jennifer Westerman, CEO of Housing Opportunities of Southwest Washington and executive director for the Joint Pacific County Housing Authority. More families need to apply for the units, Westerman said.
The project is a venture between the Joint Pacific County Housing Authority and Housing Opportunities of Southwest Washington. The board members of the two organizations met for a tour of the building on Nov. 14. The building will have a grand opening for the public and investors in January. In the meantime, Westerman is encouraging families to apply for the apartments.
Help for veterans
Two of the 27 units available are already claimed. Kristopher North is a case manager for the Housing Opportunities of Southwest Washington’s Veteran’s Integration Program. The program helps veterans who are struggling financially into subsidized housing and connects them with services. Veterans can stay up to a year while they pay down outstanding debts. Two of North’s veterans will be moving into the new apartment spaces when the complex opens in January. He was at the tour checking it out to report back to them.
“I run a three-bedroom house that has up to six veterans, and they share a bedroom. So at least here, they’ve got their own kitchen, their own bathroom, their own little place,” North said.
North was a client of the Veteran’s Integration Program before he began working for them. He lost everything he owned after he’d had a major back surgery when he was without insurance. For about a year he lived in a studio apartment owned by the Housing Opportunities of Southwest Washington. It was small but it was nice. And it was a place to stay while his finances recovered.
“Housing is getting a little stiffer, I mean it’s stiff here, and even in Longview it’s getting harder and harder to find places,” North said. “If we can move them out into the smaller communities like this, that’s a wonderful thing.”
‘A great project’
Long Beach City Administrator David Glasson was impressed with the finished project. The Joint Pacific County Housing Authority purchased the land about 14 years ago with the plan to turn it into some kind of low income housing.
“I think it’s a great project, I think people are going to enjoy living here,” Glasson said.
The units have income restrictions of 30 percent, 40 percent and 50 percent of Pacific County area median income. Some units will have rent cost restrictions since the property has received some funding through the Low Income Housing Tax Credit. The property accepts Section 8 housing choice vouchers.
The Joint Pacific County Housing Authority owns the parcel of land and funded the development of the project. The housing authority contracted with Housing Opportunities of Southwest Washington because of its experience developing low income housing.
Funding for the housing project was provided by Joint Pacific County Housing Authority, Pacific County, Washington Department of Commerce, Washington State Housing Financing Commission, US Bank and US Bancorp Community Development Corporation.
Those interested in applying can visit the Housing Opportunities of Southwest Washington website at longviewha.org/waiting-lists---apply.php. People can also reach out by phone at 360-423-0140.