Thursday, January 23, 2020

Oregon Lawmaker Calls for Allocating Funds for Enforcement of Fair Housing Laws

State Senator Shemia Fagan is proposing new legislation with Oregon Labor Commissioner Val Hoyle that would allocate $299,000 to hire a prosecutor and four staff members charged with investigating complaints of housing discrimination and educating landlords on housing laws. According to Hoyle, the legislation would allow Oregon to re-join a partnership with the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, which ended in 2015. Read more.

Bills in Washington Legislature Would Re-Legalize Multi-Unit Buildings in Single Family Neighborhoods

Two bills in the Washington Legislature - HB 2780 and SB 6536 - would re-legalize small plex buildings in single family neighborhoods. Oregon passed similar legislation (HB 2001) last year, effectively eliminating single family zoning statewide. The proposals in Washington would allow triplexes on any lot, and up to six-plexes on some lots in single family zones in cities with 15,000 residents or more. For cities with 10,000-15,000 residents, duplexes would be allowed on single family lots. Read more.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

ECONorthwest & Up For Growth: Washington State Underbuilt by 225,000 Housing Units

In a study released this month, ECONorthwest and Up for Growth reported that Washington State underbuilt by 225,000 housing units, which contributed to the current housing crisis. Read the full report here. 

A report summary can be found here. 

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Report: Rents Climbed in 2019 but Oregon Rents are Below the National Average

A new report by Rent Cafe showed that rent in Oregon cities is lower than the national average

Rent cafe offers a year-end summary for Oregon here and Seattle metro here.

City Observatory: Complete List of "Causes" of Gentrification

Joe Cortright at the City Observatory blog published an exhaustive list of gentrification scapegoats, including links to sources where these supposed causes have been linked to gentriciation. While Cortright argues that the true cause of gentrification is a shortage of urban areas where people want to live, his alphabetized list highlights the various issues that have become intertwined with gentrification in the popular imagination. Among these are artists, linear parks, coffee, free little libraries, children, and bikes. Read more.

Monday, January 20, 2020

Multifamily Marketwatch Podcast - January 20, 2020

This week – Both Washington and Oregon’s 2020 legislative sessions will begin with lawmakers prioritizing plans to reduce homelessness; San Francisco considers limiting construction of new office space if housing goals aren’t met, and a report that December’s month over month rents for Eugene, Salem and Albany reached record highs.

Listen to our latest podcast.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

RentCafe December Rent Report Finds Strong Rent Gains along I-5 Corridor in Oregon

RentCafe released its year end rent report for Oregon, which highlights the change in rents during the month of December. Eugene, Salem, and Albany saw the highest rent increases month over month – while Eugene rents increased 1.2%, Salem and Albany’s increased by 1%. Bend also saw strong rent increases, at 0.8%, and Oregon City saw the highest rent increases in the Portland metro area at 0.4%. A large number of Oregon cities saw rents decrease in December – Hillsboro had the largest rent decrease at 0.5%. Gresham, Happy Valley, Lake Oswego, Milwaukie, Portland, and Tualatin all saw rent decreases of 0.3%. Despite the slight decrease in rents, Lake Oswego remains the most expensive city in the state for renters – the average rent there is $1,680. Year over year, Portland rents increased by 3.3%, bringing the average rent in the city to $1,535. Tualatin saw the highest yearly increase in rents at 6.8%. Nationwide, rents were up 3% in 2019 but ticked down 0.1% in December. Read more.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Mayoral Candidate Sarah Iannarone Releases Housing Plan

Portland Mayoral candidate Sarah Iannarone released a housing platform she calls Housing for All, in which she calls for a "collaborative, community-based approach to housing." She argues that solving the housing crisis is an important part of solving the housing crisis, and advocates for a wider variety of housing options throughout the city. Her housing policy agenda includes:

  • Establishing a 5-year plan to end the city's housing state of emergency
  • Committing to a tenants' bill of rights, including tenants' right to organize
  • Fully funding the rental registration system
  • Preventing evictions where possble
  • Using money from tourism revenue to fund renter protection and subsidy programs
  • Re-legalizing SRO's
  • Promoting missing middle housing
  • Reforming the zoning code to address racism and displacement issues

Read more about Iannarone's housing plan here.

Monday, January 13, 2020

HFO Multifamily Marketwatch Podcast - January 13, 2020

The Wall Street Journal criticizes Oregon’s housing shortage as a state and local government failure; The Portland Design Commission strikes language from a code revision that would have required developers to provide outdoor camping space; a report details how Findland has become the only country in Europe with a declining homeless population.

Listen to our latest podcast.

Monday, January 6, 2020

HFO Multifamily Marketwatch Podcast - January 6, 2020

In the past decade, Oregon’s economy boomed while the production of housing reached record low levels; a California newspaper investigates how France is working to fix the Paris housing crisis, where underbuilding created a housing shortage.

Listen to our latest podcast.