Low-income housing project underway

Construction crews were hard at work this week on further developing the land for the Surf View Village housing project, which will provide low-income housing. (Photos by Madeline Shannon)

NEWPORT — A low-income housing construction project is underway on 60th Street in Agate Beach, which will house an estimated 420 people, according to those working on the project. 

Construction started last month, and building crews are hard at work clearing debris off the 5.2-acre lot. On Wednesday, workers on site were fighting wet, cloudy conditions and laying down as much rock as possible.

“It’s not that much of a challenge, but we’re getting rock put down on site,” said Trent Overcash, superintendent of BC Contracting. “We’re dealing with the rain and the mud.”

The 110-unit complex, named Surf View Village, will be available to individuals and families that make 60 percent or less of the area’s median income. The income restriction, according to city documents, will stay in place for 30 years and rent may not exceed 30 percent of the median income.

The four-building, three-story complex will include 24 one-bedroom, one-bathroom units with a gross rent of $615 a month, 42 two-bedroom, two-bathroom units with a gross rent of $739 a month and 44 three-bedroom, two-bathroom units with a gross rent of $853 a month. 

While 80 to 90 percent of the budget for the construction project consists of public money, city officials with knowledge of the project said the developers, The Commonwealth Companies, invested a significant amount of money in the project, as well. 

The company also obtained funding from the state’s local innovation and fast-track housing program, as well as federal low-income housing tax credits. The company also has a property tax exemption, in effect waiving the company’s responsibility to pay property taxes for 10 years.

The development will provide more housing for a population that needs it, city officials believe. 

“Whatever is happening fits a certain niche of housing needs,” said Derrick Tokos, Newport’s community development director. “It’s a very significant need in the community. It’s important to have projects of this nature.”

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