Monday, April 18, 2016

Crisis: Vancouver City Council Declares Housing Emergency

Last week the Vancouver City Council declared a housing emergency. Yesterday, The Oregonian reported that Vancouver's vacancy is less than two percent. Additionally, apartment rents have risen more than 38 percent over the last five years.

The emergency declaration is a legal mechanism that allows the council to put a ballot proposition before voters this year. Washington state law requires voting before imposing levies for affordable housing. The measure would ask taxpayers to approve a property tax levy for housing that would fund low-income households. Vancouver Mayor Tim Leavitt says there is political will to get something on the ballot this November despite the measure not having firm details yet.

Additionally, Leavitt called out neighboring communities in Clark County, "Trying to find another place in Vancouver is a real ordeal...The other places in Clark County really have not, frankly, fully embraced a need to have a diversity of housing, including multifamily." Read more.

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