Monday, November 20, 2017

San Jose's Mercury News: "Rent Control Likely Fueled Gentrification of San Francisco"

A Stanford University paper presented at the National Bureau of Economic Research conference found that following the implementation of rent controls in 1995, the number of available rental units dropped by 30% as landlords rebuilt rentals or converted them to condos. Read more.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Local Developer: Portland's Permitting Process is "Slower and More Complicated Than Any Other City We Work In"

The Portland Tribune spoke with residential developer Jeff Smith of J.T. Smith Companies, who has said he will no longer build new homes in Portland. Smith explains that the city's long and complicated permitting process has left his company unable to predict project costs. Smith also points out that the permitting delays work against the City Council's goal of encouraging builders to increase the housing supply in the city. In response, David Austin of the Bureau of Development Services says that the bureau is "committed to eliminating inefficiencies in the system." Read more.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Spokane's Push for Development on Surface Parking Lots Could Lead to Statewide Changes

The City of Spokane is hoping to revitalize its downtown by providing incentives for development on surface parking lots. City Council President Ben Stuckart is proposing a 10-year property tax exemption for developments built on existing parking lots, which are scattered throughout the downtown area. In order to achieve this goal, Spokane would need permission from the Washington state legislature. If the state grants permission to Spokane, it would open the door for such proposals in comparable cities such as Tacoma and Vancouver. Read more.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Multifamily Marketwatch Podcast - November 13, 2017

This week: Metro regional government releases a report concluding that Portland lacks adequate affordable housing; Bend considers ways to assist renters and affordable housing advocates speak out about the loss of specialized bonds that could eliminate construction of hundreds of thousands of affordable housing units.

Check out this episode!

Monday, November 13, 2017

Catholic Charities Running Up Against Landlord-Tenant Laws at Women's Village

Catholic Charities has run into a hurdle in its administration of the Kenton Women's Village because of landlord-tenant laws. The nonprofit organization had instituted a zero-tolerance policy for illegal activity, but were recently told by the Portland City Attorney's office that residents are protected by normal landlord-tenant laws, and evictions must go through normal proceedings. Catholic Charities issued a statement in response, saying, "Because Catholic Charities is committed to assuring the wellbeing of villagers and maintaining a healthy environment for those participating in the program, we find the City Attorney's interpretation of landlord-tenant law to be problematic." Managers are also struggling to prepare the tiny homes in the village for winter temperatures. Read more.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Housing Supply Matters When Addressing Affordability

Economist Joe Cortright writes in his City Observatory blog that politicians and affordable housing advocates are starting to realize what economists have been arguing for years: increasing the supply of market rate housing is an essential part of addressing affordability issues. He also points out that a recent article in Shelterforce tackling the phenomenon of "filtering up" actually showed that building two market rate housing units has the same impact on mitigating displacement as building one affordable unit. In cities that spend vast sums of money to subsidize affordable units, this conclusion could motivate some city planners to do more to encourage market rate construction. Read more.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Vancouver, WA to See 1% Property Tax Increase in 2018

The Vancouver City Council voted on Monday to increase property taxes by 1% in 2018. The city council aims to add $459,500 to the general fund with the tax increase, which they point out is below the rate of inflation. Read more.

Tribune Report: Home shortage looms

The Home Builders Association of Metro Portland held its annual housing forecast last week. The Portland Tribune reports that "All of its main speakers agreed the current shortage of new homes for sale is driving up costs, including rents paid by households with the lowest incomes." Keynote speaker Tina Kotek said she plans even more work in 2018 regarding increasing affordable housing and housing choices in single-family neighborhoods. Another speaker, Oregon Economic Forum senior director Tim Duy, in a nod to residential towers resulting from growth boundaries, encouraged more high-rise condos to increase homeownership. "The only thing Oregonians hate more than sprawl is density," he said.  Read more.