Thursday, May 23, 2019

Tenant Screening Ordinance Hearing Postponed to 5/29 at 6:00 pm. After Council Bickering Blows Up Budget Talks [video]

Tensions among Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler and other City Council members erupted on Wednesday at a public hearing on the City's proposed budget.

Unable to take a final vote on the budget, the council was forced to reschedule the public hearing for the draft tenant screening and security deposit ordinances. Those issues are rescheduled to Wednesday, May 29th at 6:00 pm.

See the video of yesterday's discussion by clicking here.

Read the latest screening ordinance here.

Read the latest security deposit draft here.

This post was updated 05/23/19 at 3:54 pm with the date and time of the rescheduled hearing.
This post was updated again 05/23/19 at 7:15 pm with yet another date and time of the rescheduled hearing.

Sold! 28 Units in Gresham

The seller of this gated community was participating in an exchange. The asset offered a balanced unit mix of one- and two-unit apartments.

The property's operations requried adjustments for costs associated with capital improvements and owner management. HFO worked with investors familiar with the outer east side neighborhoods of Portland and Gresham to complete a successful sale of this asset.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Multnomah County Commissioners Support Eudaly's Tenant Screening & Security Deposit Ordinances

Four of Multnomah County's five commissioners sent a letter of support for Commissioner Eudaly's tenant screening and security deposit ordinances to the Portland City Council. The commissioners who signed the letter include County Chair Deborah Kafoury, as well as Commissioners Sharon Meieran, Susheela Jayapal, and Jessica Vega Pederson. In the letter they state, "This ordinance uses research-based criteria to identify low-risk characteristics that would help former offenders obtain housing and not be perpetually punished for long-past offenses." According to the Willamette Week, the letter was spearheaded by Commissioner Vega Pederson. Read more.

Federal Judge Unimpressed With City of Portland's Argument Justifying Unreinforced Masonry Placards

Closing arguments on the City of Portland's ordinance requiring placards on unreinforced masonry building took place yesterday, and the judge appeared skeptical of the City's reasoning.

Judge Acosta spent much of the City Attorney's time asking questions, offering his counter-argument, and expressing concern over the City's ever-changing ordinance.

A ruling is expected in the case by the end of next week.

In a two-day trial last week, unreinforced masonry building owners learned in testimony by Mike Haggerty how buildings were placed on the City's "official" URM list.

  • From 1990 to 1993 the City of Portland had a total of 3 Portland State University students conduct the survey over the course of three summers 
  • The students were not the same students each summer and conducted their official survey on foot 
  • The areas only included downtown and the exact perimeter is unknown
  • The city did not survey buildings on the east side, Multnomah Village, St. Johns or other areas
  • The students eyeballed a building and checked a box 
  • They did not know that the list would be used 27 years later as the City of Portland's official list, and they did not know that by accidentally checking the wrong box they could impact real people 
  • They had no significant training for the job and there was no field manual 
  • Their work was "spot checked" by an actual engineer
  • The project had no budget
Shelly Duquette, a Structural Engineer at the City of Portland Bureau of Development Services was integral in the update and maintenance of the old URM database according to the city's website, She previously provided the public with this information about the city's unreinforced masonry list.
"The URM database was established in the mid-1990s.Trained City staff, in collaboration with Portland State University (PSU), surveyed all commercial buildings in the City of Portland using procedures developed by American Technology Council (ATC) to identify different building types. This survey was based on site visits and visual inspections of building exterior combined with research of existing building records and permit history. Based on this survey of buildings, buildings that were identified as URMs were listed in a URM database." ~ Shelly Duquette
In addition, during trial testimony, the City revealed it is developing a new version of retrofit standards for 2021-2023. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

City's Proposed Screening Ordinance Remains Substantively Unchanged From Prior Iteration

A close analysis of the February and May draft renter screening ordinances by HFO researchers revealed a fairly large surprise: despite Mayor Ted Wheeler's claim to "push for significant changes" and the City Attorney's office's concerns about possible legal issues with the screening requirements, the final draft remains virtually unchanged in its latest iteration.

And as commissioners and staffers are patting themselves on the back for collaborative work and building a good product, an individual working closely with the rental services commission bluntly confirmed: "It's not that different at all." 

The only change we noted aside from clearer wording was this single item cited in Willamette Week: 

Instead of requiring landlords to set the minimum income required for an apartment at two times the rent, the new policy will benchmark the requirement to apartments affordable to 80 percent of area median income: above that, landlords will be required to accept income that's twice the rent; below that the requirement will be 2.5 times the rent.
A hearing on the draft tenant screening ordinance is Thursday, May 23rd at 3 pm at Portland City Hall.

Note: this article updated May 22nd at 2:54 pm with a draft screening criteria that was updated on the City of Portland's auditor website after 7:34 am on Monday, May 20th. 

Sold! 8 Units in Gresham

This 8-plex required adjustment for costs associated with capital improvements and owner management. With high demand for smaller plex properties, HFO worked with investors familiar with the outer eastside neighborhoods of Portland and Gresham to complete a successful sale.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Multifamily Marketwatch - May 20, 2019

Smart Growth advocacy group up for growth released a report criticizing Portland's inclusionary zoning policy, and the Mayor is requesting $150,000 for an independent review of the program; a US magistrate judge heard from building owners and city officials as the lawsuit against placarding signs for unreinforced masonry buildings moved forward; and Vancouver, BC continues to face a tight housing market despite efforts to upzone and new taxes on foreign buyers.

Listen to our latest podcast.

City Council to Hold Hearing on Revised Tenant Screening & Security Deposit Ordinances Thursday, May 23rd

The Portland City Council plans to hold a hearing on Commissioner Eudaly's newly revised tenant screening and security deposit ordinances at 3 PM on Thursday, May 23rd. Mayor Wheeler has been working with Eudaly's office to bring the ordinances in line with legal standards laid out in a memo from the City Attorney's office. According to the Portland Tribune, the ordinances have been simplified but still place significant restrictions on landlords. Read more.

Revised Tenant Screening Ordinance

Revised Security Deposit Ordinance

Note: this article updated May 22nd at 2:54 pm with a draft screening criteria that was updated on the City of Portland's auditor website after 7:34 am on Monday, May 20th. 

Friday, May 17, 2019

Portland City Attorney Warns City Council about Legal Issues in Tenant Screening & Security Deposit Ordinances

According to the Portland Tribune, the Portland City Attorney's Office sent a legal memo to City Council outlining potential legal pitfalls for Commissioner Eudaly's proposed tenant screening and security deposit ordinances. While City Attorney Tracy Reeve declined to release the memo to the public, Mayor Wheeler indicated that the memo ranked legal challenges from "low" to "high." The Mayor said that Eudaly's office is working to overcome these legal problems prior to the next hearing. Read more.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Washington State Enacts Graduated Real Estate Excise Tax

The Washington State legislature voted to enact a change in the real estate excise tax law on April 25th. As of May 16th, the bill is awaiting the governor’s signature but is expected to be signed shortly.

A legal summary of that change is on the following page. It indicates that the law enacts a new graduated rate scale for real estate. The flat tax of 1.28% will be replaced January 1, 2020, by the following rates:
  • 1.1% – Portion of selling price less than or equal to $500,000
  • 1.28% – Portion of selling price greater than $500,000 and equal to or less than $1.5 million
  • 2.75% – Portion of selling price greater than $1.5 million and equal to or less than $3 million
  • 3.0% – Portion of selling price greater than $3 million

Sold! 48 Units in NE Portland

This 48 unit property built in 2005 consists of units with private decks or patios overlooking green spaces between each building. The apartments include a full-size washer/dryer and gas fireplace with vaulted ceilings in the upper units. Siding and all decks were replaced prior to sale.

Historical operations were impacted by a broken water main. HFo worked to help investors understand the challenging historical operations and appreciate the asset's upside opportunity.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Sold! 13 Units in NE Portland

This garden-court property consists of two-bedroom, one-story duplex units with private entrances. The apartments feature in-unit washer/dryer and off-street parking.

Prior to sale, the property had new windows, roofs and siding. HFO worked with investors familiar with outer east side neighborhoods of Portland and Gresham to orchestrate a successful sale.

Update: Landlords, Tenants, and Marijuana Law in Oregon and Washington

Attorney Charles Kovas provides a 2019 update on marijuana laws as they relate to multifamily owners and renters in Oregon and Washington.

Monday, May 13, 2019

Hearings Begin Tomorrow in Federal Court as URM Owners Seek Preliminary Injunction Against the City of Portland, OR

Two days of hearings on a preliminary injunction against the placarding of unreinforced masonry buildings in Portland begin in Federal Court tomorrow.

In early April the City of Portland was found in violation of a temporary restraining order by attempting to enforce its placard ordinance. A few weeks later, the court found the City in violation of the restraining order a second time.

Attorneys representing owners of unreinforced masonry buildings had to send a letter demanding remedies for the second round of violations of the court's temporary restraining order, specifically for these violations:

  • The City illegally recorded contracts on titles.
  • The City illegally accepted contracts after the temporary restraining order date.
  • The City failed to remove enforcement language on websites.

The judge ordered the City of Portland to:

  • Remove the encumbrances off titles and deeds.
  • Return the contracts to building owners.
  • Refund the costs related to contract recording.
  • Update placard websites with a restraining order notice.
  • Follow a phone and email script approved by Judge Acosta.

Judge Acosta begins two full days of hearings Tuesday, May 14th and Wednesday, May 15th at 8:30 am in courtroom 11B at the Federal Courthouse located at 1000 SW 3rd, Portland, Oregon.

Unreinforced Masonry Owners are hoping to win this first round of hearings in order to move forward with a motion for a permanent injunction on the placard requirement.

Multifamily Marketwatch - May 13, 2019

A Portland economist reports on the two major factors contributing to rampant homelessness in our region; Prosper Portland announces its design choice for the 14-acre US Post office site downtown, and the Washington legislature budgets nearly 10 billion dollars for transportation spending in that state.

Listen to our latest podcast.

Jennifer Shuch on Greater Portland's Multifamily Housing Pipeline [video]

Jennifer Shuch, HFO's Research Analyst and host of the HFO weekly Multifamily Marketwatch podcast, discusses the methodology behind estimating the pipeline of multifamily units being delivered in the Portland/Vancouver metro area. She also provides an analysis of the lackluster results of Portland's Inclusionary Housing ordinance.

Friday, May 10, 2019

Meet J.R. Johnson's Co-President Clint Arp

HFO partner Greg Frick interviewed J.R. Johnson Co-President Clint Arp recently to learn more about the company and its work repairing and restoring multifamily buildings throughout the West. J.R. Johnson is a co-sponsor of HFO's investor events, newsletters, and the Multifamily Marketwatch podcast.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Understanding Oregon's Rent Control Bill and Portland's Latest Landlord/Tenant Law Changes

Ball Janik Partners Adele Ridenour and Ciaran Connelly presented information on Oregon Senate Bill 608 (Rent Control) and updates on many new Portland ordinances affecting tenants and landlords inside the city limits of Portland.

New National Website Aggregates Information on the U.S. Housing Crisis

With more than half of American renter households paying more than 30% of their income on housing, the National Multifamily Housing Council is urging Federal, state and local governments to work together to tackle the cost of housing in our country. To help and provide detailed data, the NMHC has created a new website that provides information on a state-by-state basis. The website can be found at

Sold! 45 Units in East Portland, Oregon

This 1973 community is located along the MAX light rail in East Portland. The seller had completed extensive updates to the property exterior including new roofs, siding, and landscaping. Most units also had some interior upgrades.

HFO targeted investors with properties on the east side of the metro area, helping the potential buyers factor in management upside opportunity.

Washington State Housing Law Update with Charles Kovas

Attorney Charles Kovas provides an update on landlord/tenant legislation in Washington State.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

2019 Mid Year Portland Economic Update from Oregon Workforce Economist Christian Kaylor [video]

State of Oregon economist Christian Kaylor studies on the Portland metro area extensively. In our annual mid-year interview, he covers trends in the local and national workforce. He also takes a look at national job growth, and the hottest cities for employment, and the fastest-growing industries for work in today's economy.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Sold! 12 Units in Outer SE Portland

Fernhill is a 12-unit townhome community midway between Portland and Gresham, Oregon located near major manufacturing and technology employers. The seller approached HFO to list the property and it sold quickly with immediately nonrefundable earnest money in escrow.

Monday, May 6, 2019

Multifamily Marketwatch - May 6, 2019

This week: Developers are warning that Portland's inclusionary housing requirement is causing a construction slowdown that could exacerbate the city's shortage of housing; Portland commissioner Chloe Eudaly is exploring avenues for increasing city revenue, including a personal income tax on top earners and a vacancy tax on apartment buildings; and cities and states across the U.S. are looking to Minneapolis for creative ways to solve the housing crisis.

Listen to our latest podcast.

Friday, May 3, 2019

Sold! 110 Units in Vancouver, Washington

Built in 1971, Hampton Hills' exterior envelope had been replaced, and several units had been updated. Property amenities include a clubhouse, fitness center, and an outdoor seasonal pool. Nearly all apartments are one-bedroom flats.

Given the unique unit mix and property vintage, HFO worked to demonstrate possible upside through ongoing interior updates. Hampton HIlls was sold to a buyer participating in a 1031 tax-free exchange. 

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Report: City of Portland "On the Right Track" on homelessness

The Oregonian/Oregonlive reports that "Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler on Monday cast himself and city partners as effectively tackling the city’s homelessness crisis and policing controversies." Read the story.

Report: Economic Growth Slowing in Multnomah County as Payroll Surges by 6.8%

The State of Oregon is reporting employment growth in Multnomah County slowed from 3.3% in 2015 to 1.8% in 2018, suggesting slowing economic growth. This change occurred even as payroll for Multnomah County surged by 6.8%. One possible explanation, according to State of Oregon workforce analyst Christian Kaylor, is that employers are raising wages to keep workers from leaving for better-paying jobs elsewhere. 

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Sold! 20 Units in Vancouver, Washington

Creekside Manor consists of large 3-bedroom townhomes with washer/dryer hookups, separate entrances, and fenced backyards. The building envelope had recently been replaced. Operations required adjustment for costs associated with capital improvements and owner management.

HFO Investment Real Estate worked with investors familiar with Vancouver assets without stabilized historical operations to finalize a successful sale.

Monday, April 29, 2019

Report: Portland's Inclusionary Zoning Policy is Failing

"...annual permit issuance under the City of Portland's inclusionary housing program represents a 64% decrease relative to the 5-year average permit issuance level prior to the adoption of inclusionary housing, as measured from 2012-2017. Housing starts lag building permit activity, so unless Portland's inclusionary housing program is significantly restructured soon, we expect this trend line will lead directly to a further underproduction of housing in 2020, 2021 and 2022."  Read more. 

Despite dismal reports on the City's inclusionary housing policy City of Portland Housing Program Specialist Brett Eisenbrow responded to an HFO inquiry on potential revisions by saying "...there are no program changes scheduled... as we review and revaluate [sic] the IH program in the future..."

Multifamily Marketwatch Podcast - April 29, 2019

This week: The Portland City Council will vote May 23rd on screening and security deposit reform after Mayor Ted Wheeler called for significant changes to the proposals; a growing number of high-income households are renting instead of buying; and the New York Times reports that 2020 presidential candidates are working on strategies to help renters.

Listen to our latest podcast.

Developers Warn of Multifamily Construction Slowdown in Portland

Developers who have historically built many of the multifamily buildings in Portland are now saying the regulatory environment in the city is keeping projects from penciling out. An unusually high number of projects, particularly large projects in the central city, have received design review approval but not moved forward with building permit applications. The developers warn that the projected returns are too low for investors, and the city is likely to see a significant slowdown in the production of new units in 2020 and 2021. Read more.

Friday, April 26, 2019

Sold! 22 units in Vancouver, Washington

A majority of this 22-unit apartment community consists of one-bedroom flats--a portion of which had been updated. In arranging the sale of this multifamily asset, HFO worked with investors familiar with Vancouver properties without stabilized historical operations to complete a successful sale.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Sold! 8 Units in Vancouver, Washington

HFO sold the Whitman Apartments. These well-situated un its offer spacious backyards and off-street parking. Due to the aggressive demand for multifamily assets in Clark County and HFO's granular knowledge of the market, the Whitman Apartments had multiple offers.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Seattle's Apartment Boom Continues

According to the Seattle Times, "The Seattle area is filling up new apartments faster than any region in the country... not a great sign for tenants hoping landlords get desperate and drop rents."  Read more.

Monday, April 22, 2019

Multifamily Marketwatch Podcast - April 22, 2019

This week: The US Treasury Department issues long-awaited guidance on opportunity zones; new data pinpoints dramatic effects of climate change on Portland neighborhoods; and a Harvard Business Review study has found that in cities with increasing Airbnb listings, housing costs also rise.

Listen to our latest podcast.

Multifamily NW Spring 2019 Apartment Report Released

At this morning's Multifamily NW spring apartment report breakfast, it was announced that:
  • Rental vacancy rates in Greater Portland increased 55 basis points to 4.95%--but remaining relatively unchanged from one year earlier.
  • Rent rates increased 4% in the past six months and were up 7.7% on average from one year ago.
    • Note that these rent rates do not represent "effective" rent rates due to the offering of concessions, which are becoming more prevalent in the market.
Submarket rent rates were reported as follows:

Click to Enlarge

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Tenant Screening Ordinance Vote to Be Delayed Two Weeks

Portland Commissioner Chloe Eudaly's office announced that it will be delaying the vote on its tenant screening and security deposit reform proposals. Public testimony was April 3rd and 4th, and the vote was originally scheduled for April 25th. According to Eudaly's office, the Commissioner plans to take an additional two weeks to rework the proposal. In response, Deborah Imse of Multifamily NW stated, "We share the goal of reducing barriers to housing, but Portland needs to ensure the rules are not so onerous that rental housing providers decide to give up and get out." Read more.

Portland Releases New Draft of Better Housing by Design Code Amendments for Multifamily Projects

The City of Portland has released its revised proposed draft to design code amendments for multifamily projects.

The Bureau of Planning and Sustainability is holding a work session on April 30th at 5pm. A recommended draft will be formed thereafter and forwarded to the City Council for a public hearing and vote. The public hearing and testimony period will be the next opportunity for citizens to provide testimony on the proposals.

Monday, April 15, 2019

High Rents a Growing Problem Throughout Oregon

The Portland Tribune reports that a shortage of housing across the state is leading to more Oregonians spending more than 50% of income on rent.

The most rent burdened city in Oregon is Corvallis, where 40% of households pay more than half of all income on rent. Eugene has 38% of households that are rent burdened, while the number in both Ashland and Grants Pass is 33%. Read more. 

Multifamily Marketwatch Podcast - April 15, 2019

This week: San Francisco plans a final vote this week on legislation giving local nonprofits first right of refusal over the sale of multifamily buildings. Now entering its third year, Portland’s inclusionary housing policy has resulted in just 422 housing units being permitted – with only a handful finished and available for rent. And the Portland Mercury examines the potential impacts of Portland’s Residential Infill Plan

Listen to our latest podcast.

Friday, April 12, 2019

Tenant Screening Ordinance Could Get Overhaul

The Willamette Week reports that Mayor Ted Wheeler plans to propose significant changes to Commissioner Eudaly's proposed tenant screening ordinances. Wheeler's spokesperson Eileen Park said the Mayor's "primary concerns are those raised in public testimony...including the rent to income ratios, the look-back period on criminal activity, potential support for small landlords and their ability to apply certain requirements, and also the impact on how we can continue to encourage housing development in our entire city." It is unclear whether the Mayor's vote is needed to pass the policy. Read more.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Majority of Landlords Testify: Screening Ordinance Unnecessary

The Rental Housing Journal offered a thorough summary of multifamily owners' testimony before the city council in an article this week. The vote on the proposed ordinances is scheduled to take place until Thursday, April 25th. Read more.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

San Francisco Considers Right of First Refusal for Nonprofits on Multifamily Sales

San Francisco Supervisor Sandra Lee Fewer has sponsored a proposal that would give nonprofit groups the right of first refusal to buy any buildings with more than three units. If the law passes, landlords wanting to sell their buildings would need to notify qualified nonprofit groups of their intent to sell. The groups would have five days to express interest and an additional 25 days to structure a deal with tenants in the buildings. Thereafter, nonprofits would have the opportunity to match any offer received from a private buyer. Read more.  

Monday, April 8, 2019

Portland's Inclusionary Zoning Policy Isn't Producing Enough Units, Housing Bureau Working on Changes

The Daily Journal of Commerce reports that the city has received permit applications for 66 projects that would include 422 affordable units to Portland since inclusionary zoning went into effect in 2017. But city officials believe a total of 23,000 units affordable to low- and moderate-income residents are needed. Tim O'Brien of Urban Asset Advisors says he was able to make his projects work by counting bedrooms rather than units, but he was only able to get financing from local investors willing to agree to an ROI of 5.2%. In response to the program's less-than-optimal results, the Housing Bureau is working to draft changes to the policy, including writing separate rules for apartments and condos. Read more.

Multifamily Marketwatch Podcast - April 8, 2019

This week: ongoing multifamily deliveries in the Seattle market are expected to keep rents flat there for the next several months; Portland's Rockwood neighborhood remains hopeful that its opportunity zone designation will bring much-needed development, and new health survey has found that a large number of renters are putting off medical care in order to pay rent.

Listen to our latest podcast.

Friday, April 5, 2019

Vote on Tenant Screening Reform in Portland Tentatively Scheduled for April 25th

The Portland City Council heard roughly six hours of testimony over two days this week relating to proposed tenant screening and security deposit reforms. Among the 50 residents who testified were renter advocates, landlords, and property managers. The vote on the proposed ordinances is not scheduled to take place until Thursday, April 25th, though that vote could be pushed out if amendments are introduced. Read more.

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Judge Rules City of Portland Violated Court Restraining Order on URM Placards

Oregon District Court Judge John V. Acosta has ruled that the City of Portland violated a restraining order with a recent letter sent to owners of unreinforced masonry buildings in Portland. The Judge ordered the City to send another letter with corrections. 

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Multifamily NW in Portland Business Journal: Portland Needs a Tenant Screening Process That Would Truly Make Housing More Accessible to All

The Portland Business Journal published an opinion by Multifamily NW Representatives Maureen McNabb and Deborah Imse, in which they outline concerns over Commissioner Eudaly's tenant screening proposal. They also describe the work they have been doing with a grant from the Meyer Memorial Trust to develop screening criteria that would make housing more accessible to all applicants, by ensuring tenants understand their rights and know how to appeal a denial of housing. According to Imse and McNabb, Commissioner Eudaly's proposal would increase barriers to housing and could impact safety and affordability. The City Council plans to hold hearings on the tenant screening and security deposit ordinances this Wednesday and Thursday, April 3-4th. Read more.

Monday, April 1, 2019

Opinion: Beware the False Promise of Rent Control

by Ethan Blevins, Pacific Legal Foundation

Rent control does not work. That’s one of the most settled issues in economics, one widely accepted across the ideological spectrum. Yet politicians continue to peddle rent control with seemingly willful ignorance.

Oregon is the most recent state to embrace the rent control orthodoxy. The day after rent control prevailed in Oregon, marchers took to the streets in Olympia, demanding that Washington also succumb to a proven policy failure. But Washington should side with settled economic science, not naïve populism.

Rent control’s failure begins and ends with the most basic concept in economics: supply and demand. When politicians slap an artificial squeeze on prices, a shortage results. A lower price means more people want that good while fewer people produce it.

With rent control, that means less housing. Many landlords will either sell their property or put it to a different use. Meanwhile, inadequate housing supply and pressure for rent-controlled units spill out into the uncontrolled market, where prices escalate.

Even rent-controlled units will ultimately face inflated pricing. After all, under most rent control regimes, landlords can still reset the rent at the start of a new lease. Thus, the pricing of rent-controlled units leaps in fits and starts over time. This lack of predictability only makes it harder for tenants to find housing they can afford, encourages landlords to set short lease terms, and wreaks havoc with the housing market.

Because rent-controlled prices are locked into a lease, people tend to stay put longer, which reduces mobility and makes it harder for folks to find new housing when they change jobs or move to a new area. Worse, the people who slip into comfy rent-controlled housing and stay put are often wealthier than the people toughing it out in the open market.

Another bleak outcome of rent control is shoddier housing quality. Landlords saddled with rent control tend to cut back on maintenance to offset the loss and forego improvements because rent control deflates competition.

In short, rent control means homes are shabbier, pricier and harder to find. Yet rent control advocates, rather than face these uncomfortable facts, often resort to blaming landlords or developers for engaging in the exact behavior that economists predicted.

In response to this self-inflicted crisis, cities often double down with more regulations that exacerbate inflation. Thus, when rent control increases the eviction rate because landlords can’t raise the rent until a tenant leaves, the rent controllers slap on eviction limits. When landlords bow out of the rental market, rent controllers slap on fees to replenish a diminishing housing stock. When prices soar, they pump more money into myriad affordable housing programs. Blaming landlords and developers for this predictable spiral is like blaming the sun for climate change.

Proven methods for addressing a housing crisis do exist. Take California, for example, where the legislature commissioned a study to figure out why the Golden State has become so unlivable. The Legislative Analyst’s Office concluded that a primary cause was overregulation of the housing industry and that the path out was to build more housing. Governor Gavin Newsom has seized this issue, threatening to strip transportation funding to California cities that fail to meet targets for housing construction. Meanwhile, Oregon elects to stumble in a haze of blinkered science denial.

Policymakers in Washington state take heed – of your two neighbors to the south struggling with housing affordability, California is looking for real solutions aimed at more housing, while Oregon chases the failed orthodoxy of regulation and restriction. Science makes it clear which path Washington should follow.

Multifamily Marketwatch Podcast - April 1, 2019

This week: The Portland Mercury asks whether Oregon lawmakers should be backing a bill allowing local jurisdictions to set their own rent control policies; a Seattle news outlet finds that affordable condos in King County are being rented out or used as second homes; and we're seeing new scrutiny of the Oregon Department of Transportation's handling of data related to the Rose Quarter Freeway Expansion.

Listen to our latest podcast.

Monday, March 25, 2019

Multifamily Marketwatch Podcast - March 25, 2019

This week: Seattle upzones 27 neighborhoods in an attempt to encourage housing development; Washington State legislators push forward bills to increase eviction times for nonpayment of rent, and the Portland city council is poised to hold public hearings next week on sweeping new regulations on renter screening and security deposits.

Listen to our latest podcast.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Contradictory Court Decision on Portland Relocation Fee Classifies it Illegal "Rent Control"

The Oregonian/Oregonlive reports that a second lawsuit involving the City of Portland Relocation fee determined the fee to be illegal under state law as a form of "rent control." According to the report, the decision now leaves the relocation fee issue in limbo for some time as an Oregon Court of Appeals ruling on the issue is not expected for several months. The paper says until the appeals court makes a determination, "the relocation payments could be decided case by case and judge by judge."

Monday, March 18, 2019

Multifamily Marketwatch Podcast - March 18, 2019

This week: Since 2010, Seattle has been the fastest growing city in the U.S. but new evidence suggests the boom may have passed; a new report finds rents in Portland are recovering from a decline that began last fall; a new report finds Portland is the 10th most expensive metro in the nation for buying a home

Listen to our latest podcast.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Portland City Council to Vote on Security Deposit and Tenant Screening Reforms April 3, 4

Portland City Commissioner Chloe Eudaly plans to bring her proposals for security deposit and tenant screening reforms to the rest of the City Council next month. Her office has been working on drafting the changes for the past several months, and they were finalized on February 20th.

These items will be discussed in public hearings on Weds. April 3 at 2 pm AND Thursday, April 4 at Portland City Hall. City staffers have requested three hours per day for discussion and public testimony.

Please reach out to City Council (contact information below) with any questions or concerns regarding the policy proposals. Read and download the complete proposed draft here. 

Below are some of the key takeaways:

Screening Criteria
  • Applications must be processed on a first-come, first-served basis
  • Landlords may only screen heads of household unless the household or a co-applicant has been issued a violation notice in the past year
  • Landlords must specify an opening date and time when applications will be accepted for a specific unit, and cannot accept applications for that unit outside of the advertised period
  • The open application period must be posted 72 hours before the start of the application period
  • Landlords cannot require proof of income greater than twice the amount of rent
  • Applicants cannot be denied for:
    • conviction of a crime that is no longer illegal in Oregon
    • convictions in the juvenile justice system
    • conviction of misdemeanor offenses older than 3 years
    • conviction of felony offenses older than 7 years
    • rental history judgment that was entered three or more years earlier
  • Landlords cannot deny tenants due to credit scores above 500 or a lack of credit history
  • Landlords must consider supplemental evidence submitted by the applicant
  • Applicants must be allowed 30 days from the date a denial is issued to request an appeal and present evidence
Security Deposits
  • If a landlord requires last month's rent to be paid as a condition of tenancy, the security deposit cannot be more than one half of a month's rent
  • If a landlord does not require last month's rent to be paid as a condition of tenancy, the security deposit cannot be more than one month's rent
  • "Ordinary Wear and Tear" is defined as deterioration that occurs without deliberate or negligent destruction, damage, or removal of any part of the premises, equipment, furnishings, or appliances by the Tenant, a member of the Tenant household, or other persons on the premises with the Tenant's consent
  • In the event new carpet is needed, the landlord can only take into consideration the cost of the contiguous area where the carpet must be replaced due to damage
  • Landlords can only charge for repainting if repairing specific damage made to a wall beyond ordinary wear and tear
  • Movable property is presumed to depreciate at a rate of 3.6% per year over a period of 27 years
  • Any damage for which a landlord intends to withhold a portion of a tenant's security deposit must be documented in writing and include proof of depreciated value, such as original receipts
  • Landlords must place tenants' security deposits in a separate checking, savings, money market, or client trust account and provide the bank institution name and account number
    • If the account bears interest, the landlord is required to pay it in full to the tenant, minus a 5% deduction for administrative costs
City Council Contact Information:
Mayor Ted Wheeler

Commissioner Nick Fish

Commissioner Chloe Eudaly

Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty

Commissioner Amanda Fritz

On its website 

    Wednesday, March 13, 2019

    After Recent Decline, Portland & Seattle Rents Climbing

    Rents in Seattle and Portland have increased the past two months after some recent decreases. Read the details on Portland's and Seattle's rents in these stories from the Rental Housing Journal.

    Report: Hoarding is Protected as Disability by Fair Housing Act

    In a new report, editors of the Rental Housing Journal write "Hoarding is a mental disability you may encounter as you work on a property. People who suffer from hoarding are protected under fair housing law and are entitled to reasonable accommodations in the same way people with other mental or physical disabilities are." Read the full story.

    Tuesday, March 12, 2019

    U.S. Census Bureau: Greater Portland Rental Vacancy Ties for Nation's Third Lowest at 2.4%

    The U.S. Census Bureau reports that fourth quarter 2018 rental vacancy rate for the Portland/ Vancouver/ Hillsboro metro area was 2.4%, a decrease of 0.2% from a year earlier.

    Seattle/Tacoma/Bellevue's metro area vacancy rate was listed at 5.0%, up from 3.4% one year earlier.

    The nation's lowest rental vacancy rates:
    1. Akron, OH 1.3%
    2. Fresno, CA 1.6% [tie - 2nd]
    3. Worcester, MA 1.6% [tie - 2nd]
    4. New Haven-Milford, CT 2.4% [tie - 3rd]
    5. Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA - 2.4% [tie - 3rd]
    6. Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH - 2.9% [tie - 4th]
    7. Tucson, AZ - 2.9% [tie - 4th]
    8. Rochester, NY - 3.6%

    Average National Rental Vacancy Rate
    The average national rental vacancy rate for Q4 2018 was 6.6 percent for multifamily dwellings of five or more units -- 0.3% lower than one year earlier, despite ongoing delivery of multifamily units throughout the national market.

    Year-over-year vacancy rates in the Western U.S. decreased, from 5.8% to 5.1%.

    Click to Enlarge

    U.S. Homeownership Rate Increases
    After falling to a 26-year low in 2016, homeownership rate increased to 54.8%. The current homeownership rate in the West increased from 60.0% to 60.9%.
    Click to Enlarge

    Washington Post Report: "Homeownership is Back In."

    The Washington Post reports on a sharp increase in the number of homebuyers in 2016 as the once-rapid growth in renter households stalled. Read more.  

    Monday, March 11, 2019

    Multifamily Marketwatch - March 11, 2019

    This week: The Brookings Institute says Oregon's rent control policy won't help affordability; Portland's newest city councilor reveals her priorities in a newspaper interview; and Tri-met is selling seven properties near MAX lines for transit-oriented development that includes housing, retail and office space. All that and more in the HFO Multifamily Marketwatch podcast.

    Listen to our latest podcast.

    Thursday, March 7, 2019

    After Sharp Drop, Seattle Home Prices Jump $45,000 in One Month

    The Seattle Times reports that as condo prices and single family home costs in neighboring counties continue falling, King County homes increased sharply. Read more.

    Wednesday, March 6, 2019

    Brookings Institute: "Oregon's New Law Will Not Fix the Underlying Problem of High Housing Costs"

    Jenny Schuetz, the David M. Rubenstein Fellow at the Brookings Institution, wrote an article discussing the shortcomings of Oregon's new rent control program. According to Schuetz, "Oregon's new law will not fix the underlying problem of high housing costs, and it could even make matters worse for vulnerable families." She highlights the two biggest problems exacerbating housing affordability across the US:

    1. Low wages and unstable incomes generated by labor markets
    2. In-demand cities failing to build enough housing to keep up with demand, particularly in neighborhoods with good public schools and access to jobs and transportation
    While she acknowledges that Oregon legislators made efforts to avoid some of the pitfalls of previous rent control programs, she does not believe it will be enough to stave off unintended consequences. As an example, she states that a developer who had planned to build 8 units may now build only 5, in order to stay under the threshold that would trigger rent restrictions. Schuetz also believes the increased tenant protections included in the bill could encourage some landlords to screen out less desirable tenants, such as families with young children. Read more.

    Tuesday, March 5, 2019

    Educational Events on Oregon's Statewide Rent Control Law

    Lunch Training - Wednesday, March 20th

    On Wednesday, March 20th, Multifamily NW will offer a training seminar on SB 608 - Oregon's rent control legislation.

    Where: Multnomah Athletic Club, 1849 SW Salmon Street, Portland 97205
    When: 11:30 AM - 1 PM
    Who: Marcel Gesmundo, attorney at Greenspoon Marder LLP 
    Cost: $50 for members, $75 for non-members

    ~ ~ ~

    Webinar - Friday, March 22nd

    The Oregon Association of Realtors offers a live webinar to answer questions on Oregon's new statewide rent control bill.

    When: Friday, March 22, 2019
    Time: 9-10:30 am
    Host: Leah Sykes, Partner at Greenspoon Marder LLP
    Cost: $29 for members, $39 for non-members

    Statewide Rent Control in Oregon Means New Renter Forms: Order Yours Here

    Multifamily NW has new forms available for Oregon rental properties.

    Click here to preview and download the order form. 

    Fill out the attached form and send to Multifamily NW by email or fax.

    • Blank printed forms should be available by the end of this week or early next week.
    • The forms can be mailed to you, or you can make an appointment to pick them up from Multifamily NW’s offices.

    List of Updated Forms 
    This forms update is in response to the passing of Oregon Senate Bill 608, which was signed into law effective immediately on Thursday, February 28, 2019, and created statewide rent control.

    M001 OR Rental Agreement
    Language was changed under “Tenancy” on page one to make the agreement a true “fixed term” so that an end of tenancy notice can be used during the first year of the occupancy. The space for the amount of the early termination fee was removed, and the early termination language was revised to tie into the new Section 4. Section 4 was changed to give the Owner/Agent the option of charging an early termination fee or “actual” damages. The election can be made when the resident leaves. The resident no longer has the right to leave by simply paying the early termination fee. Section 5 was changed to require the resident to give at least 30 days’ written notice of their intent to leave at the end of a fixed term that expires during the first year of the occupancy since the new law no longer requires such notice from the resident. Section 6 was changed to reflect the conversion of a fixed term to month-to-month under the new law.

    M201 OR Single Family/Condo/Multiplex Rental Agreement
    Language was changed under “Tenancy” on page one to make the agreement a true “fixed term” so that an end of tenancy notice can be used during the first year of the occupancy. Section 5 was changed to require the resident to give at least 30 days’ written notice of their intent to leave at the end of a fixed term that expires during the first year of the occupancy since the new law no longer requires such notice from the resident. Section 6 was changed to reflect the conversion of a fixed term to month-to-month under the new law.

    M011 OR Notice of Rent/Monthly Charges Increase
    Checkboxes were added for an Owner/Agent to claim the exemptions to the maximum rent increase of 7% plus CPI.

    M019 OR End of Tenancy Notice - First Year of Occupancy Only (MTM or Non-Renewal of Lease)
    This notice is now used only during the first year of the occupancy. The section for later terminations has been removed. PLEASE NOTE: The previous version of this notice will still be available as well. The previous version is to be used only when terminating a fixed term tenancy that existed on or before February 28, 2019, and the termination is occurring at the end of its term.

    M049 OR 90-Day End of Tenancy Notice - First Year of Occupancy Only (MTM or Non-Renewal of Lease)
    This notice is now used only during the first year of the occupancy and only in local jurisdictions that require more than 30 days’ notice (Portland and Milwaukie city limits). The section for later terminations has been removed. PLEASE NOTE: The previous version of this notice will still be available as well. The previous version is to be used only when terminating a fixed term tenancy that existed on or before February 28, 2019, and the termination is occurring at the end of its term.

    M065 OR Renewal Offer/Rent Increase Notice
    Checkboxes were added for an Owner/Agent to claim the exemptions to the maximum rent increase of 7% plus CPI. Also, the word “rent” was added after “parking” and “storage” to clarify that these are also “rent” for purposes of the 7% plus CPI ceiling.

    M067 OR Fixed-Term Renewal Offer - At End of First Year of Occupancy Only (No MTM Option) This notice can now only be used for a fixed term that expires at the end of the first year of occupancy since rent cannot be increased during the first year of the tenancy. After the first year of the occupancy, if the Resident does not accept the offer of a new fixed term, the agreement automatically rolls to month-to-month, and Owner/Agent cannot refuse to renew a fixed term rental agreement without cause.

    M083 OR Termination For Cause (90-Day Notice of Non-Renewal/Termination of Fixed-Term Tenancy for Repeated Violations of Rental Agreement) NEW FORM! - This is a new form that allows termination at the end of a fixed term if the Owner/Agent has issued three or more violation notices (can include 72 hour and “for cause” notices that the resident cured) in the 12 months preceding the end of the fixed term. WARNING: Each violation notice used to support this termination notice must: (a) be in writing; (b) served at the time of the violation; (c) specify the violation; and (d) contain the following language: “The conduct described above is a violation of your rental agreement. Owner/Agent may choose to terminate your tenancy at the end of the fixed term if there are three or more violations within a 12-month period preceding the end of the fixed term. Correcting the third or subsequent violations is not a defense to termination under ORS 90.427(7).” 

    M084 OR 90-Day Termination For Cause - Qualifying Owner Reason (For Terminations Issued After First Year of Occupancy)
    NEW FORM! - This new form allows termination under a limited set of circumstances as identified in the notice. In most cases, Owner/Agent must pay the tenant one month's rent with the notice. The payment requirement does not apply if the Owner has an ownership interest in 4 or fewer dwelling units. There is a checkbox on the form to claim this exemption.

    M085 OR Termination Without Stated Cause - Owner Occupied Property with Two or Fewer Dwellings (For Terminations Issued After First Year of Occupancy) 
    NEW FORM! - This form can only be used when the rental unit is in the same building or on the same premises as the Owner’s primary residence. It is used only after the first year of the occupancy. During the first year of the occupancy, use form M019 or M049 as applicable.

    M015 OR 144-Hour Notice of Termination for Nonpayment of Rent 
    M016 OR-WA Notice of Parking Violation 
    M017 OR Notice of Noncompliance 
    M020 OR 72-Hour Notice of Termination for Nonpayment of Rent 
    M021 OR 24-Hour Notice of Termination
    M023 OR Notice of For Cause Termination
    M029 OR Notice of Termination for Nonpayment of Rent (HOME Program)
    M031 OR Notice of Violation-Failure to Pay Money 
    M040 OR Notice of Violation
    M041 OR Notice of Tampering with Alarm/Detector
    M042 OR-WA Notification of Balance Due
    M081 OR 10-Day Pet Violation-First Notice

    These notices have a new "Warning Notice" section. The warning language was added so these notices can be used to support a 90-day termination using the new Termination For Cause (M083).

    Monday, March 4, 2019

    Multifamily Marketwatch - March 4, 2019

    Oregon is now the first state with statewide rent control; the Portland City Council delayed its placard requirements for unreinforced masonry buildings and a new Census Bureau report finds that Seattle is the most educated big city in the country, with Portland not far behind.

    Listen to our latest podcast.

    Apartment List: Portland Saw 10th Highest Growth Rate for High Income Renter Households

    According to a new report by Apartment List, the number of high income renters in the Portland Metro Area grew by 93% between 2008 and 2017, the 10th highest growth rate in the nation. During that same period, the population grew 12% and the total number of renters grew by 19%. The report defines high income renters as those making more than $100,000 per year. Portland's growth rate for high income renters is almost double the nationwide growth of 48%. The Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue metro area saw a 95% increase in high income renters. Read more.

    Wednesday, February 27, 2019

    Chloe Eudaly Asks City to Research Possible Tax on Landlords With Vacant Units

    In case you missed the latest news, Chloe Eudaly has now asked the Division of Revenue to look into a possible tax on rental units, among other options, equating landlords with vacant units to 'monsters withholding food or medicine from those in need'.

    In a discussion this past week prompted by a two-year extension of the city's declaration of a housing emergency, Eudaly Eudaly is looking to raise an additional $50 million each year for homeless services. She indicated that there were 16,000 vacant units in Portland.

    Mayor Wheeler wants council officials to coordinate current searches for additional funding for homeless and affordable housing services in upcoming budget sessions. The money would be used for "tenant opportunities to purchase, universal eviction defense funds, and other anti-displacement strategies," according to news reports.

    In the video clip below, beginning at approximately 1:09 into the session, Commissioner Eudaly states the following about landlords:
    “I want to go back to the state of emergency. What we were calling for was a rent freeze. We were calling on the city to recognize that we were dealing with a man-made disaster and while we could not advance that particular cause I am somewhat gratified by the actions in the state legislature to place a cap on rents although I think it’s too high as I think everyone knows. We were also calling for the legislature to stop holding our regulatory tools hostage and give them back to us so municipalities could manage their unique challenges and that includes rent control as well as setting just cause standards for no-cause evictions. 
    "Commissioner Fish thank you for that walk down memory lane but I want to take us back more than thirty years when a group of powerful lobby interests in the landlord, real estate and homebuilding arenas pushed our legislature to ban rent control at a time when rents were relatively low and vacancy was high in Portland, setting the stage for what became open season on Oregon renters. Portland currently has the highest number of cost-burdened households among six or seven different cities it’s higher than Seattle, Austin, Salt Lake City, Nashville and Indianapolis. So it is particularly bad here and I believe it's because in no small part we have not been allowed to regulate. 
    "It seems that most of my job is making up for the failures of capitalism. It is very frustrating that we rarely get around to the conversation of actually fixing the system and most of our conversations are focused on policies that really serve as band-aids to a flawed and broken system. So I am also looking forward to some of those conversations. As a housing tenant advocate the most frequent response I’ve heard from people other than ‘if you can’t afford it just move’ was, ‘it’s economics 101 It’s all about supply and demand.’ Well, news flash. We have a supply. We have an estimated 16,000 vacant apartments in the City of Portland but we also have a gross product mismatch between the housing that was supplied and the demand that exists. So it’s not economics 101 friends it’s actually a lot more complicated than that and that is one of the many reasons that I really hope that we pursue the possibility of a vacancy tax. 
    "I can think of few other scenarios where we have people suffering on the streets and we have people hoarding a resource that is a basic need and a human right and we don’t see those people as… I want to choose my words very carefully right now… if you were sitting on a pile of food or medicine that people needed that was otherwise going to waste, you would be seen as a monster. If you were sitting on a pile of housing that people desperately need that is otherwise going to waste, it’s just business, and I don’t buy that. I think I’ll leave it at that.” 

    Expert: "Alarm Bells Ringing" in Portland City Government Over Pending Slowdown in Housing Construction

    The President of ECONorthwest, John Taponga, told attendees at a Portland Business Alliance breakfast forum last week that Portland's homeless crisis was being driven by the high cost of housing. "The [city's] inclusionary zoning requirement is well-intentioned but misapplied and needs to be reconsidered," he said. Read more in the Business Tribune. 

    Multifaily NW Responds to SB 608 and State Rent Control

    With rent control coming to Oregon, Multifamily NW asked that lawmakers offer direction and resources for research and follow-up, among other things. Read more.  

    The editors of the Rental Housing Journal advised landlords to proceed with caution in light of the impending change to the law.

    Tuesday, February 26, 2019

    Oregon House Passes Rent Control Bill

    The Oregon House of Representatives passed Senate Bill 608 with a 35-25 vote today. The bill's passage makes Oregon the first in the nation with a statewide rent control policy. It caps annual rent increases to 7% plus inflation, with exemptions for affordable housing and buildings less than 15 years old. It also restricts no-cause evictions. SB 608 will now go to Governor Kate Brown's desk for a signature. Read more.

    Portland Wants Earthquake Ready Buildings - But What's the Cost?

    Is the Portland City Council ready to reconsider its recent ordinance requiring placards on unreinforced masonry buildings? Their commitment to such a requirement now appears to be wavering in the face of opposition from groups including the NAACP and a lawsuit. The Portland Mercury reports.

    Monday, February 25, 2019

    Multifamily Marketwatch - February 25, 2019

    The City of Portland has extended its housing emergency another two years to 2021; Oregon Senate President Peter Courtney proposes a bill requiring cities to upzone land within a half mile of frequent transit stops, and Oregon Senate Bill 608 may head to the floor of the Oregon House for a vote as early as this week. Its passage would mark the nation's first statewide rent control bill.

    Listen to our latest podcast.

    The New York Times on Oregon's Rent Control Bill

    The New York Times published an article discussing Oregon's proposal for statewide rent control, which is likely to go to the House floor for a vote this week. The Times looks at rent trends throughout the state that have led to calls for state level mitigation - a 21% rent increase in Bend over the last three years, a 2% vacancy rate in Medford, and increasing commutes for University of Oregon students who can't afford to live in Eugene. The article also points out that Portland has some of the strongest tenant protections in the nation. Read more.

    Portland Bureau of Development Services Proposing Increased Fees Due to Low Construction Activity

    Portland's Bueau of Development Services (BDS) is looking to increase Land Use Services Division fees by an average of 5%. The increase is a result of a slowdown in construction activity and increased operating expenses. According to BDS Senior Business Operations Manager Elshad Hajiyev, "Specifically, the decline (is) in large multifamily construction." The City Council plans to hold a second reading on the proposal February 27th. Read more.

    Thursday, February 21, 2019

    Report: City Gets an Earful from Owners of Unreinforced Masonry Buildings

    The Portland City Council accepted public testimony yesterday at a hearing on the unreinforced placard ordinance, and as the Portland Tribune reports, owners had a lot to say.

    The Council will hold a vote on Wednesday, February 27th on whether to make changes to the existing ordinance recently passed by the City Council.

    Wednesday, February 20, 2019

    Republicans Seek Amendments on Oregon Rent Control Bill

    Republicans in the Oregon Senate are objecting to the swift passing of SB 608 without sufficient time for public comment and consideration of amendments, senators stated yesterday in a public release. Read more. 

    Portland Business Alliance Releases 2018 Value of Jobs Economic Check Up For Portland, East Multnomah County

    The Portland Business Alliance released its 2018 Regional Value of Jobs Economic Check-up this morning, along with a special report on East Multnomah County. 

    Speaker John Tapogna, President of ECONorthwest highlighted five key takeaways at the event.

    1. Portland has grown significantly its college-educated population as compared to our peer regions of Seattle, Austin, Salt Lake City, Nashville and Indianapolis. From 2010-2017, Portland increased by 20% the number of those age 25+ with an associates degree or higher.  
    2. Portland's wealth is more equitable relative to our peer cities, yet is still sorely lacking in wealth equality for Black/African American residents.
    3. Commute times is increasing all peer group regions with Portland ranking second with 42% of workers with commutes longer than 30 minutes, second only to Seattle, which has half of all workers driving or commuting longer than 30 minutes.
    4. Portland stands in the middle of the pack of our peer groups with respect to employment growth. 
    5. Portland's cost-burdened households for both owner-occupied residents is the highest among the peer group cities. Portland is now less affordable than Seattle, Salt Lake, Austin, Nashville or Indianapolis. 
    Also notable among Tapogna's remarks: "What drives Portland's homelessness is the high cost of housing."

    Metro Seeks Land for Affordable Housing

    According to Emily Lieb, Metro Housing Bond Program Manager, "Oregon Metro is looking to acquire land for new construction of housing units rather than purchasing existing buildings with the bond fund we administer in-house." Lieb indicated that several of Metro's local government partners, including cities, may be looking to acquire properties through a nonprofit partner. Read and download a copy of the program work plan here