Elevator at apartment complex for seniors still down

·2 min read

Jul. 4—The elevator at Owens-Adair, an affordable housing complex for seniors and people with disabilities, is still down after it failed during a power outage in early June.

Residents of the four-story, 46-unit complex near downtown have been waiting for repairs to be made to the sole elevator since June 7, when a power outage affected more than 7,400 Astoria area customers.

The Northwest Oregon Housing Authority, which owns the building, could not locate the controller needed to restore service because of the age of the equipment and a new part needed to be fabricated.

Jim Evans, the housing authority's interim director, had expected to receive the part by the end of June, but it has not arrived.

"The required parts are on order and we are checking in with the vendor daily," he said in an email. "We do not have an estimated time of delivery at this time."

To help ease the challenges associated with the elevator outage, Evans said someone is posted in the building for about four hours a day to help residents up and down the stairs, carry groceries, deliver mail and packages and carry laundry to and from the laundry room.

The housing authority has offered to reimburse delivery fees for groceries and medications. The agency is also working with Clatsop Community Action to provide outreach to residents with mobility impairments.

Residents with mobility issues have also been offered first-floor apartments, but Evans said no one has requested to move.

Evans said the housing authority has borrowed a stair lift from Columbia County, but he is not aware of anyone who has asked to use the lift.

Residents at the building have told The Astorian that the support has been helpful, but many have expressed concerns about accessing medical appointments and other necessities.

In April, the housing authority unveiled a plan to double the size of the apartment complex and update the existing building.

A new, four-story, 50-unit apartment project called the Owens-Adair Annex would mirror the building and likely serve low-income seniors and people with disabilities earning 30% to 50% of the area median income.

The housing authority applied for state funding and expects to learn whether the application has been approved by August.

If the project is awarded government funding this year, construction could begin by the summer of 2023 and the project could be completed by 2024.