CORE analysis: a novel approach to housing healthcare workers

July 16, 2024

CORE studies innovative Hawk’s Eye housing initiative in Seaside, Oregon 

Back to CORE's website

  • In 2023, the Hawk’s Eye project began converting a Seaside, Oregon, hotel into housing for healthcare workers and Oregon Health Plan members with disabilities.
  • Providence CORE is helping study and inform the project through research, including stakeholder interviews and other analysis.
  • CORE’s findings highlight how high demand for health and social care workers and low housing availability impact the region, as well as a sense of optimism about Hawk’s Eye’s prospects for success. 

In 2023, CareOregon and Columbia Pacific CCO (CPCCO) launched the Hawk’s Eye project. This innovative initiative is converting a longstanding Red Lion hotel in Seaside, Oregon, into housing for health and social care workers and Oregon Health Plan members needing permanent supportive housing.  

Our team at the Providence Center for Outcomes Research and Education (CORE) is helping study and shape the program. A series of in-depth stakeholder interviews and an environmental scan completed in early 2024 provide insights on the state of the local workforce, housing options, effectiveness and best practices around employer-assisted housing for healthcare workers and early learnings from the project.

Read on for highlights from our findings or download the report for more information.

Housing barriers and the healthcare workforce

Recruitment and retention of healthcare workers is an ongoing challenge for communities across Oregon. CORE’s research highlights factors that create barriers to attracting and maintaining a robust healthcare workforce in Clatsop County. That includes:

  • A significant demand for more healthcare workers and difficulty filling key positions
  • A long-term trend of low housing availability in the area
  • Challenges with housing affordability, especially for healthcare and social safety net workers whose earnings are on the lower end of the scale 

“I think one of the issues that we have here continually is attracting medical talent…. Having anything that contributes to having a stronger healthcare system, which includes housing for non-doctor staff is really good. I think it is an important aspect of health care here.” – Community Stakeholder

“I've had a really hard time when someone comes to our area that is a frontline making not too much money, it's really difficult to find a good safe place.” – Healthcare Stakeholder 

Community optimism and collaboration propel Hawk’s Eye

In CORE’s interviews, Hawk’s Eye stakeholders shared a sense of optimism and alignment around the project and its prospects, as well as some uncertainty. Key takeaways from the interviews suggested that: 

  • Strong community alignment around regional needs and local political will to address housing issues made it easier to get the project approved 
  • CareOregon’s independent financing removed some potential obstacles to the project
  • Having a CPCCO staff member with deep housing expertise, knowledge and relationships has been essential to the project’s momentum
  • Stakeholders are generally optimistic about the project’s chances for success and hopeful that it will contribute to healthcare workforce stability in the region. 
  • While there is some trepidation about co-locating housing for workers and individuals with disabilities stakeholders are hopeful that this model proves effective and replicable in other projects.
  • Stakeholders recognize the importance of ensuring the project’s long-term financial viability. 

“[The Hawk’s Eye project] is a really good example of a lot of people working together... This is great for the city of Seaside, great for people that want to move here and work in the health industry. Great for some people that need some extra help. It's just a perfect example.” – Community Stakeholder  

These and other early findings from CORE’s research illustrate both the challenges and potential of this innovative initiative. By addressing critical housing and workforce issues, Hawk’s Eye is poised to make a significant impact on the Seaside community. Stay tuned for more insights as the project progresses and the CORE team delves deeper into this transformative project. 

For more information, download the report or learn more at Columbia Pacific CCO’s website.

Related Resources

No Previous Articles

Next Article
Exploring the power of data storytelling at CORE’s 2024 Data Summit
Exploring the power of data storytelling at CORE’s 2024 Data Summit

A recap of CORE's 2024 Data Summit, which combined insightful presentations with practical skill-building, ...