Tuesday, August 15, 2017

City of Seattle Prohibits Housing Providers From Screening Applicants Based on Criminal History

The City of Seattle has passed 8-0 an ordinance called the Fair Chance Housing Ordinance prohibiting housing providers from screening applicants based on past arrests or criminal convictions.

Landlords are still allowed to screen applicants on employment, credit scores, income ratios and other criteria.

Read a statement on the City of Seattle website.

News Reports: City of Portland Plans to Extend Relocation Assistance Following Landlords' Judicial Appeal

The Portland Mercury quotes Portland Housing Bureau Manager Matt Tschabold as stating the Portland City Council will be asked to extend the relocation assistance for six months and then possibly even longer.

The news comes on the heels of two Portland landlords filing an appeal of a recent judges' ruling allowing the relocation assistance.

Multifamily Marketwatch Podcast - August 15, 2017

This week: The City of Portland considers special tax breaks for projects approved before inclusionary zoning took effect; Mayor Ted Wheeler criticized for lack of action on affordable housing initiatives; and Portland's relatively low rent-to-income cost average.



Check out this episode!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Relative to Income - Portland's Rents are West Coast's Lowest

A new report demonstrates that Portland's rents are the lowest on the West Coast relative to income.

As of the second quarter, Portland's rent-to-income ratio is just a shade under 25%, at 24.96%. The average income in metro Portland is about four times average rents. That is higher than some places, such as Raleigh at 18.77% or Austin at 21.53%, but a lot less than other markets, and less than the national average of 28.99%.

The highest rent-to-income ratio in the country is New York, at 51.33%. Other pricey markets include LA at 42.95%, San Francisco at 38.57% and San Diego at 33.28%. Among major West Coast markets, Portland has the lowest of all rent-to-income ratio.

Source: August, 2017 report from CBRE.


Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Oregonian Report: Wheeler Slow to Deliver on Affordable Housing

Portland mayor Ted Wheeler made the urgency of affordable housing a key part of his 2016 campaign, promising to deliver results quickly. Eight months since his election, not much has happened. Read today's story in the Oregonian.

Multifamily Marketwatch Podcast - August 9, 2017

In this week's news: REIS announces the national vacancy rate; streamlining Portland's design review; affordable housing bill proposed in U.S. Senate.



Check out this episode!

Multifamily Marketwatch Special

In an interview with HFO partner Greg Frick, Portland attorney Andy Hahs discusses the 2017 legislative session and Portland's relocation assistance program, which is likely to be modified and extended this year by Portland's City Council.



Check out this episode!

Friday, August 4, 2017

Seattle Tightens Rental Inspection Rules on Landlords

The Seattle City Council has reduced the amount of notice that landlords receive before building inspections. The Rental Registration and Inspection Ordinance (known as RRIO) provides for inspections for heating, infestations, leaks, etc. A property must be inspected at least once every decade.

Landlords were previously provided with 60 days' notice on which units would be inspected. Now they will receive a 60 day notice of pending inspection and a 10 day notice of the exact day, but they will not know which units will be inspected.

Previously, landlords could hire a private inspector if they didn't want the city inspector to conduct the inspection, but landlords weren't required to provide the resulting written report. The rules will now require inspectors turn over the resulting report to the city.