NCHS’s Town Hall on Jan. 15 confirms need for County Due Diligence

The issues below were discussed at North Coast Housing Solutions (NCHS) Town Hall meeting on January 15.  These selected issues directly relate to the need for a standard, transparent, due diligence process by Clatsop County BEFORE the land is given away.

We believe that NCHS’ responses are accurately represented below.  If not, we will revise them with any updated responses from NCHS. 

State Statute for Low-Income Housing: NCHS stated that they are intending to build “workforce housing” rather than low-income housing.  Low-income housing is defined as  households that earn 80% or less of median family income.  NCHS is targeting households that earn between 80% and 120% of median family income.

The Oregon State Statute 217.330 allows Counties to give away land for low-income housing.

Misrepresentations: A member of the Cannon Beach Fire Board indicated that NCHS misrepresented the Cannon Beach Fire Chief as “fully supporting” their intended project.  NCHS apologized for their misrepresentation.

Land will be auctioned on March 1: NCHS claimed “that if his non-profit wasn’t able to get the land then it would be auctioned off to the highest bidder to a for-profit developer and they would certainly build large vacation homes and/or short-term rentals.”  Upon an audience member’s request for the basis of this statement, NCHS claimed that in a meeting with the Clatsop County Assistant County Manager in September, the surplus land available in Arch Cape was reviewed.  NCHS further claims that the Assistant County Manager stated that on March 1, 2023 the property would be auctioned to the highest bidder if the property wasn’t given to a municipalities or non-profits. 

Social Benefit of Location: Questions and concerns were expressed about the proposed housing development not being close to schools, jobs, healthcare and other social services, etc. NCHS explained away the issue as there are jobs in Cannon Beach.

A member of the audience mentioned that earlier in his life he would have lived in similar low-incoming housing if it was close to daily amenities (grocery stores, restaurants …).  This location would be too isolating.

Environmental Suitability: NCHS stated that, based upon a previous development attempt on an adjacent  location, they believe that the land is “potentially unbuildable”.

Financial Viability: NCHS stated that they currently have no funding and there was no real path to obtaining the required funding until the property was in their possession.  They repeatedly mentioned that there are very real financial hurdles and it is possible they acquire the land, spend the money to complete the required engineering, studies, architecture and determine there is not a financially viable path forward.

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