By Kiera Morgan
Oregon State University submitted an application to amend the Newport Comprehensive Plan Map. These changes will facilitate OSU’s plan to construct a 130 student housing apartments to support their expanding Newport operations at the Hatfield Marine Science Center. In addition, the changes recommended by the Planning Commission will enable a 12-unit multi-family project to be built by Samaritan House. The housing being developed by OSU will accommodate students participating at the proposed Marine Studies campus, which is to be built on the Hatfield Campus in South Beach. This location is above the tsunami inundation zone.
Samaritan House is proposing to build 12 units of permanent affordable housing on the property across from OSU. Samaritan House Director Lola Jones said the screening process for potential tenants would be very strict. “We will only be selecting the cream of the crop. Those who have been part of the Samaritan program for over a year. There will also be restrictions on guests, especially overnight guests and it will be a drug and alcohol free facility.” This will provide monitored housing as the next step for families to continue their progress of independent living.
Finding affordable housing for families who have successfully graduated from Samaritan House has been one of the challenges for the organization. Samaritan House helps to provide homes and counseling for families experiencing homelessness in Lincoln County. Newport city councilors expressed some concerns regarding parking and possible traffic back ups with the bridge with increased growth in the South Beach area. There were also concerns with park maintenance but in the end they approved the zone change unanimously to move the two projects forward.