Groundbreaking kicks off low-cost apartments for vets, others

By Sarah Brown
Lebanon Local

Applegate Landing broke ground Aug. 21 on its new housing project off Airport Road.
The 48-unit complex will house veterans, low-income people and those transitioning out of rehab, and is expected to receive residents by next summer.
“With our current and ongoing housing shortage in Oregon, we are excited to bring a new development to our city and for our veterans,” said James Lutz, the developer. More about the plans for the development can be read online at LebanonLocalNews.com/veterans-housing-in-lebanon-in-works.
Applegate Landing is in partnership with Crossroads Community, a nonprofit that will provide support services and work with adults transitioning out of the Teen Challenge program.
Rebecca Grizzle, executive director of Lebanon Chamber of Commerce, remembers when KJ Ullfers of Community Crossroads approached her years ago with the idea to combine housing and services for veterans and those in rehab.
“It’s really exciting to see all of his hard work and whoever he ‘tricked’ into helping him get this come to fruition,” Grizzle said.
The facility will include an activity center to be used for services to its residents, such as health and dental screening, mental health care, drug and alcohol support meetings, financial wellness classes, education advancement opportunities, and workshops on job skills and home ownership.
Mayor Paul Aziz noted that affordable housing in Lebanon is hard to come by, and said it’s especially difficult for veterans and others who need additional service such as counseling, social services, job training and help for those with addictions.
“One of the things that makes Lebanon a great community is how people and organizations work together. Lebanon depends on people like James Lutz and KJ Ullfers taking a vision and making it a reality,” Aziz said.
A quarter of the 48 units will be set aside specifically for veterans, Lutz said. One will house the manager, and one will be available to a person with a serious or persistent mental illness.
The remainder will be for low-income and rehab residents, but will remain veteran-preference, he said.
“Ultimately, if we don’t have a list of eligible veterans, then it will open up to folks with low income. Anybody can apply, but always a veteran will go to the top of the list,” he said.

HOUSE REPRESENTATIVE Sherrie Sprenger focuses on gratitude that the groundbreaking is a “bright spot” in the midst of hard times.

State Rep. Sherrie Sprenger took time at the groundbreaking to express her gratitude that the groundbreaking brought people together to celebrate veterans and the community spirit.
“This is a really bright day in the middle of one of the hardest times most of us have ever lived through,” Sprenger said.
“Today is a great day to remind us about how well our community works together, what can happen when our community works together, and how we can move forward in the middle of a pandemic.”