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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Friday, March 10, 2017
Thursday, March 9, 2017
March 9, 2017
The Honorable Donald J. Trump, President
Dear President Trump:
We are writing on behalf of the members of the National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) and the National Apartment Association (NAA) who represent the $1.3 trillion apartment industry and its nearly 39 million residents. We applaud your efforts to overhaul the federal regulatory landscape and reduce the burdens felt by American businesses of all types in complying with a profusion of unnecessarily costly and complex regulations. We believe that some federal regulations strayed from their intended purpose and instead stifled innovation and hampered economic growth at a time when our nation continues to recover from the worst recession since the Great Depression.
The multifamily sector is under increasing pressure to meet booming demand across the country. Experts believe this trend will continue, if not increase, due to a host of factors including demographic change and evolving consumer preferences. Our industry, and particularly apartment owners and developers, must balance a wide array of concerns regarding project viability, regulatory cost and compliance at all levels of government. While many regulatory hurdles and costs, such as impact fees, continual environmental reviews and antiquated zoning processes, are within the purview of state and local policymakers, there are a wide array of existing federal regulations that contribute to making housing less economically feasible to develop.
We believe that regulations must have demonstrable benefits that justify the cost of compliance and that federal agencies should be aware that broad-stroke regulations often have disproportionate effects on industries that serve as key drivers of our economy. Excessive regulation and compliance uncertainty result in costly mandates that divert resources from the production and operation of multifamily housing. The apartment industry faces a flood of regulations from a wide range of federal agencies including the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Department of Labor (DOL), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and the Department of Energy (DOE).
Given your great interest in removing regulatory barriers to development and growth, NMHC/NAA would like to highlight some of the specific federal regulations that slow or prevent development of housing that is affordable, challenge otherwise legitimate business practices designed to ensure safe and decent housing for residents, decrease access to capital and make it difficult to transfer family-owned businesses from one generation to another. The regulations outlined in the attached document, while well-intentioned in nature, have negatively impacted the development and management of multifamily housing at a time when our industry strives irelessly to address the shortage of housing for American families. We urge the Administration to pursue reforms or rescind these regulations.
We appreciate the opportunity to share the multifamily housing industry’s view on the importance of regulatory reform. We look forward to working with you and your Administration towards our shared goal of building housing that is affordable to more Americans and spurring continued economic growth across the country. Please call upon us if we can serve as a resource to you in this regard.
Douglas M. Bibby
National Multifamily Housing Council
President & CEO
National Apartment Association
The Honorable Michael Pence, Vice President
The Honorable Gary Cohn, Director, National Economic Council
The Honorable Mick Mulvaney, Director, Office of Management and Budget
Tuesday, March 7, 2017
Thursday, March 2, 2017
The number of permits issued in January 2017 was a whopping 857. Due to the implementation of inclusionary zoning requirements by the City of Portland effective February 1st, that number are anticipated to fall significantly for an indefinite period, at least within the city limits of Portland.
Wednesday, March 1, 2017
Panel of 41 U.S. Economic Experts: "Rent Control has Negative Impact on Quality and Quantity of Affordable Housing"
In survey results posted February 7, 2017, 82% of the panelists disagreed or strongly disagreed with the following statement: "Local ordinances that limit rent increases for some rental housing units, such as in New York and San Francisco, have had a positive impact over the past three decades on the amount and quality of broadly affordable rental housing in cities that have used them."
- Economist David Autor, associate head of the MIT department of economics, said "Rent control discourages supply of rental units. Incumbent renters benefit from capped prices. New renters face reduced rental options."
- Economist Judith Chevalier of Yale, former editor of the American Economic Review, wrote "Rent control will have similar effects to any price control."
- Economist Aaron Edlin of Berkeley wrote: "Rent control lowers incentives to invest and increases incentives to hold underoccupied rentals."
- Economist Michael Greenstone, former Chief Economist for the Council of Economic Advisers, in Chicago wrote: "Great if you are lucky enough to get one of those apartments! Bad for all others. The worst policies apply to new construction."
- Economist Caroline Hoxby, director of the economics education program at Stanford wrote: "Rent controlled units do not end up in the hands of low-income people. Rent control discourages landlords from creating modest priced units."
- Economist Edward Lazear, of Stanford and chair of the President's Council of Economic Advisers (2006-2009), wrote: "Even in the short run, rent control induces owners to move property to other uses, misallocate the property, and substitute non-price allocations."
- Economist Cecilia Rouse of Princeton and former member of the President's Council of Economic Advisers (2009-2011) wrote: "While well intended, theoretically they also likely limit expansions in supply and improvements in quality."
- Economist Nancy Stokey of Chicago and former Editor of the Journal of Political Economy (2003-2007) wrote: "The planets are lined up here: theory and evidence point in the same direction."
See more details on the question and results, and learn more about the Initiative on Global Markets by clicking here.
Tuesday, February 28, 2017
Monday, February 27, 2017
New contact information may be found at www.mcbridecapital.com. Take special note that the company also frequently updates its rates page.
Friday, February 24, 2017
Meanwhile Windermere Real Estate's chief economist, Matthew Gardner, believes that while first time home buyers may attempt to enter the market in 2017, the supply of owner-occupied homes in the Portland metro area is so low that there may be nothing for them to buy. In his Portland Business Journal article he states that in Multnomah county alone, 7,493 owner occupied housing units are needed. Surrounding counties are similarly low on supply. He forecasts that Portland's above-average price growth will not be slowing anytime soon, due to lack of inventory.
Finally, the Portland Tribune reported this week that according to HSH.com, the average buyer in Portland needs a salary of $70,000 to afford a home. That is an increase of 7.5% from one year ago. The median home price in Portland is $354,700, and the median monthly mortgage payment is $1,654. The 2015 median annual income in Portland was $63,850.
Wednesday, February 22, 2017
Their fears are echoed by an unlikely ally: Portland Tenant United's Margot Black. Black argues that low vacancy rates mean landlords can afford to be more selective, and penalties for no-cause evictions could make it even harder for low-income tenants to find housing.
"Supply is also the answer" to the housing crisis, says Black. Portland's vacancy rate has been below the national average since 1986, with the exception of a brief period in 2004. At the same time, Multnomah County has not built enough units to keep up with population growth.
HFO is pleased to see that Margot understands the importance of increasing supply, and hopes that tenant groups and governmental bodies will do more to encourage development of affordable housing.