Friday, May 26, 2017
[Source: U.S. Census Bureau]
Wednesday, May 24, 2017
Tell the Oregon State Legislature to vote NO! Contact numbers and email addresses below...
Senate President Peter Courtney
Senate Majority Leader Ginny Burdick
This week: Portland's budget, school district levy, Oregon's robust economy, and where, oh where are the inclusionary zoning projects? We return after Memorial Day on June 6th.
Tuesday, May 23, 2017
The Better Housing by Design (BHD) project aims to improve the design of multifamily housing outside of the central core of Portland. It covers all multi-dwelling zones (R3, R2, R1, and RH), and aims to strengthen requirements for outdoor spaces, encourage a range of housing that includes "missing middle" structures, and improve walkability. Bureau of Planning and Sustainability staff are expected to release the final Code Concept Report in the Summer of 2017. Read more.
Thursday, May 18, 2017
Wednesday, May 17, 2017
Supporters of the new PPS bond point out that Portland school buildings are 77 years old on average, and many have health and safety issues including high lead levels. The bond will provide the funding needed for projects such as improving water quality, removing asbestos and lead-based paint, improving fire alarm and sprinkler systems, and ADA/accessibility improvements. In addition, Benson, Madison, and Lincoln high schools and Kellogg middle school will be rebuilt and renovated. Read more.
Tuesday, May 16, 2017
This week: Portland Mayor says housing trumps need for parking; conflict continues in the Eastmoreland neighborhood and the Portland Development Commission is now Prosper Portland. Our podcast returns next Weds 5/24.
Friday, May 12, 2017
Wednesday, May 10, 2017
Tuesday, May 9, 2017
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Monday, May 8, 2017
Thursday, May 4, 2017
Seattle Vacancies Nation's 3rd Lowest
Census estimated Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue's vacancy rate at 1.9% vacancy rate, making it the nation's third lowest. Metro areas with lower vacancies than Seattle were Sacramento (1.2%) and Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Flordia (1.8%).
After Seattle (#3) the remaining lowest vacancy rates were:
Allentown-Bethlehem-EAston, PA-NJ (3.0%)
Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC (3.1%)
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA (3.6% (TIE)
San Diego-Carlsbad, CA (3.6% - TIE)
Salt Lake City, UT (3.8%)
Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI (3.9% - TIE)
Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA (3.9% - TIE)
Average National Rental Vacancy Rate
The average national rental vacancy rate for Q1 2017 was 7.0 percent for multifamily dwellings of five or more units -- the same as one year earlier. Vacancy rates remained lowest in the western U.S. where it declined from 5.1 to 4.7%.
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U.S. Homeownership Rate Continues to Fall
U.S. Homeownership rates have fallen from a recent high of 65.1% at the end of 2013 to an estimated 63.6% in Q1 2017. Homeownership rates in the Western U.S. has been on the upswing since reaching a 26-year low during 2016. The current homeownership rate in the west crept up 0.3% over the past year.
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Wednesday, May 3, 2017
In this week's episode: Oregon economist Josh Lehner says he expects homeownership to grow relative to renting in the years ahead; a new expert report says inclusionary zoning has a near zero effect on increasing affordable housing.
Tuesday, May 2, 2017
- Requiring affordable housing projects to be approved in 100 days
- Blocking cities from denying housing development applications due to failing to meet discretionary standards
- Prohibiting local governments from adopting standards that would discourage needed housing
- Stopping local governments from reducing density of housing applications if the application meets zoning requirements
- Requiring local governments to allow detached affordable housing on properties zoned for non-residential places of worship
Monday, May 1, 2017
Thursday, April 27, 2017
Tuesday, April 25, 2017
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Thursday, April 20, 2017
Wednesday, April 19, 2017
Half a block East of the 5-way intersection of SE Ankeny, Sandy, and 11th, an empty and unused plot of land could become something unique.
The developer, Landon Crowell, has worked with YGH Architecture to design a unique 6 story structure with photovoltaic panels, triple pane passive house windows, and highly insulated walls and roof - the kind of forward-thinking structure Portland should be proud of. And yet, the plot of land still sits empty, despite the fact that discussions with the city started 16 months ago -- in January 2016.
The project went before the design commission five times between October 2016 and February 2017. During the hearings, Crowell agreed to reduce the size of the building by 8%, from 26 units to 18. At the third hearing on January 5, 2017, a staff report and recommendation to the Design Commission recommended that the project be approved. However the Design Commission felt it did not meet "subjective" criteria, despite meeting the standards required by the Portland Zoning Code.
The decision was appealed to the City Council, with a hearing scheduled for April 5th. The council delayed the hearing until April 12th, with no publicly stated reason given for the further delay of a badly needed housing project in a centrally located, transit-heavy neighborhood.
At the meeting on April 12, it became clear that nearby neighbors are the biggest roadblock. One neighbor, William Phillips, is quoted as saying the project is a "monstrosity." Priscilla Sturges, a resident who has lived in her house for over 40 years claims the project amounts to "elder abuse" because, in her opinion, the development will only serve "wealthy short-termers." In response to complaints from residents, Bob Zimmerman of YGH pointed out that the parcel is zoned EXd, and there is barely any residential housing in the neighborhood. After three hours of testimony on a 17-unit project, it was determined that a final decision will be delayed until May 11, 2017.
According to the Portland Tribune, Amanda Fritz was prepared to vote against the project, while Commissioners Fish and Eudaly were undecided (Commissioner Saltzman was absent). These are the same commissioners who have:
- been complaining that we are having a housing crisis;
- increased renter protections, and;
- declared a housing emergency because of underbuilding.
Developers have continuously pointed out that needless delays and extended timelines for the design review process adds significant expense, preventing delivery of units at the lowest cost possible (and hence the lowest rents possible). In this case, the developer has had to pay $160,000 in additional city fees -- $9,411 per unit -- through the end of March.
Project Development/Roadblock Timeline:
- The initial request for a pre-application conference for this project was in January of 2016.
- The first design review request was in June, but the project did not go before the Design Commission until October, 2016.
- The Design Commission reviewed the project five times between October 2016 and February 2017, when it was ultimately denied.
- The project was appealed to the City Council April 5th, and postponed to April 12th.
- Now, a final decision is scheduled for May 11th.
In the End -- More Delay May Mean More Units, Even Unhappier Neighbors
Ironically, Landon Crowell has the option of holding off until next year in order to apply to build a significantly larger structure in the exact same spot when new comprehensive plan takes effect and raises the parcel's height limit from 75 to 125 feet.
NextPortland - Ankeny Apartments Denied by Design Commission
Portland Tribune - Ankeny Apartments: Part 2 of 2 Redlined and Denied
Daily Journal of Commerce - Multifamily Project Hearing Rescheduled
Portland Tribune - Update: Council Kicks Ankeny Apartments Back to Developer, PDC
Daily Journal of Commerce - Ankeny Apartments Project Appeal Extended
Tuesday, April 18, 2017
In this episode: the release of Multifamily Northwest's apartment report for greater Portland; a surge in the number of homes for sale in Portland, and the Portland Tribune weights in on pending rent control legislation.
Monday, April 17, 2017
Wednesday, April 12, 2017
Tuesday, April 11, 2017
In this episode: status of Oregon House Bill 2004-A allowing rent control, Portland's new committee oversight on affordable housing, and a new 220-unit apartment building slated for the South side of the Burnside Bridgehead.
The final meeting of the URM Building Policy Committee is Wednesday, April 19th, from 3-5 PM at CH2M Hill, 2020 SW 4th Ave, Portland, OR 97201.
- The requirements are intended to protect brick buildings from collapse in the event of an earthquake.
- The policy will go before the City Council for a vote this summer.
- Roughly 1,500 properties in Portland will face mandatory reinforcement over the next 10-25 years. You can see whether your building is on the list by clicking here.
- Seismic upgrades are expensive. Costs are estimated at $50+ per square foot. This plan may pass without any subsidies to help owners pay for these improvements.
Friday, April 7, 2017
Wednesday, April 5, 2017
Tuesday, April 4, 2017
In the headlines this week: Oregon House Bill 2004-A allowing rent control and ending no-cause evictions moves out of committee; Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler plans a new city department to license and monitor landlords; news outlets reporting that some recent market data shows rents starting to flatten in Portland.
Monday, April 3, 2017
Thursday, March 30, 2017
Wednesday, March 29, 2017
Tuesday, March 28, 2017
Thursday, March 23, 2017
Wednesday, March 22, 2017
Tuesday, March 21, 2017
Monday, March 20, 2017
Friday, March 17, 2017
According to the Willamette Week, Oregon lawmakers are considering a bill that would allow for construction of ADUs on land zoned for agriculture (HB 2937). Opponents have expressed concerns that the housing will not truly be affordable, and will likely be used for short term vacation rentals rather than permanent housing.
The Willamette Week also reports that Multnomah County is offering to build ADUs in the backyards of homeowners on the condition that they are used for 5 years to house homeless residents. After that time, homeowners would be able to use those units at their discretion, and would receive the added value of an additional unit on their property.
The Portland Business Journal reports that former head of the PDC Patrick Quinton is starting a company called Dweller, which will install prefabricated ADUs on land leased from homeowners, and would also pay the owners a portion of the rent collected from tenants. Dweller will take care of the permitting process and partner with Living Room Realty for sales and marketing.
Thursday, March 16, 2017
(a) limiting the deposit amount;
(b) requiring that it be held in an interest-bearing account; and
(c) clarifying the definition of reasonable wear and tear.
In an article published in today's Portland Tribune, Eudaly claims to have set up a stakeholder committee meeting of landlords, tenants and housing advocates. Upon learning of the commissioner's plans, Multifamily NW -- the state's largest association of housing providers -- asked Eudaly's office to be allowed to participate. The request was declined. Sources report Eudaly's stakeholders have already held one of three planned meetings to discuss the issue prior to recommending reforms.
Tuesday, March 14, 2017
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Monday, March 13, 2017
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