Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Renters Become Majority in Nearly 25% of Largest US Cities

Currently, renters have more market share than owners in nearly 25% of the largest cities in the United States. The trend has not yet been verified in Portland where the owner-occupied households cited by the U.S. Census Bureau for 2012-2016 is listed at 53.1%. Read more.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Rent Control Benefits Offset by Costs

A working paper published in the National Bureau for Economic Research finds that while tenants who benefited from rent control policies in San Francisco between 1995 and 2012 gained about $2.9 billion collectively, the citywide rent increases over that time also amounted to $2.9 billion, offsetting those gains. Rent controlled buildings over that period saw a 15% decline in the number of renter residents and a 25% decline in tenants living in rent controlled units. The rental housing stock also decreased by 6%, exacerbating affordability issues throughout the city. Rebecca Diamond, assistant professor of economics at Stanford University, suggests that more effective policies could include raising revenue through a tax and providing subsidies in the form of a renter tax credit. Read more.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Parking Districts Ahead for N. Mississippi, N. Williams, NE Alberta, SE Hawthorne and SE Division?

The Oregonian/Oregonlive reports that after the city of Portland sought requests for testing new parking districts, at least eight neighborhood groups asked for approval of a new plan. The Boise Neighborhood Association (Williams/Vancouver corridors) volunteered to host a pilot program. Portland's Bureau of Transportation plans to select a pilot neighborhood--or two--by the end of 2018.  Read more.

Multifamily Marketwatch Podcast - Monday, January 29, 2018

This week: there's a controversy brewing over heights of new buildings in downtown Portland; a new report ranks Portland's rents as the 20th highest in the nation; and leaked White House "infrastructure plans" call for a 50% reduction in the federal reimbursement rate for new projects.

Check out this episode!

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Washington State Rent Control Public Hearing: Tues 1/30 @ 8 am - in Olympia

Notice from the Manufactured Housing Association of Washington:

SB 6400, concerning local authority to address affordable housing needs through regulation of rent and associated charges, is scheduled for a public hearing on Tuesday, January 30 at 8:00 a.m. in the Senate Financial Institutions & Insurance Committee in the JA Cherberg Building Room 3.  

You are invited to testify in Olympia regarding SB 6400.

The companion HB 2583 is scheduled for Executive Session (vote out of committee) in the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday, February 1 at 1:30 p.m. in the John L. O’Brien Building Room A.  There is no need for anyone to attend this hearing, but you are encouraged to contact members of this committee asking them to “VOTE NO on HB 2583.”

These bills allow local cities and counties to allow rent control on rented/leased residential properties (single family homes, apartments and manufactured housing communities).  It repeals the 1981 state preemption against rent control and allows cities to regulate your rents.

You are also encouraged to contact your Senate Members and the members of the Senate Financial Institutions & Insurance Committee in OPPOSITION of SB 6400.

And contact your 2 House Members and the members of the House Judiciary Committee in OPPOSITION of HB 2583

If you do not know who your two house members are, you can locate them at:

The Senate Financial Institutions & Insurance Committee members include:

Jan Angel, Ranking Member
(360) 786-7650
Michael Baumgartner
(360) 786-7610
Phil Fortunato, Vice Chair
(360) 786-7660
Bob Hasegawa
(360) 786-7616
Steve Hobbs
(360) 786-7686
Patty Kuderer
(360) 786-7694
Mark Mullet, Chair
(360) 786-7608

The House Judiciary members include:

Roger Goodman
(360) 786-7878
Paul Graves, Asst Ranking Minority
(360) 786-7876
Larry Haler
(360) 786-7986
Drew Hansen
(360) 786-7842
Laurie Jinkins,Chair
(360) 786-7930
Christine Kilduff, Vice Chair
(360) 786-7958
Steve Kirby
(360) 786-7996
Brad Klippert
(360) 786-7882
Dick Muri
(360) 786-7890
Tina Orwall
(360) 786-7834
Jay Rodne, Ranking Minority Member
(360) 786-7852
Matt Shea
(360) 786-7984
Javier Valdez
(360) 786-7818

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Will Washington State end Ban on Rent Control?

HB 2583 has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee. This bill would repeal Washington's preemption against rent control, allowing local cities and counties to enact rent control on rented/leased residential properties, including manufactured housing communities.

Bills must be passed out of committee by February 6th to move forward. A list of judiciary committee members is included below. Please contact them with your thoughts as soon as possible.
Following are some rent control facts.

Rent control decreases the housing supply 
  • Developers choose to build de-controlled new homes, condominiums, office buildings, or simply not to build at all, investing funds elsewhere. 
  • Berkeley and Santa Monica both lost rental housing stock over the first decade of rent control. Berkeley lost 3,941 units (14%) and Santa Monica lost 2,443 (8%). 
  • Between 1960 and 1967 in New York City, the inventory of "sound" housing grew by 2.4 percent, but the "dilapidated" inventory grew by 44 percent and the "deteriorating" inventory grew by 37 percent. 
Rent control decreases low income tenants 
  • Rent control hurts single mothers. Single mother households decreased in both Berkeley and Santa Monica by 24% and 27% respectively. 
  • Low-income tenants—including students, elderly, and disabled persons, and those receiving public assistance—are displaced by people who can pay substantial "finder's fees" and who are more attractive as tenants. 
  • The number of low income households decreased in both Berkeley and Santa Monica while the number of high and very high-income households increased. 
Rent control reduces the quality and upkeep of apartments
  • A ceiling on rents reduces the quantity and quality of housing available. 
  • Landlords must let unit quality deteriorate so the controlled rent reflects actual market price or they cannot afford the unit. 
  • Rent controls discourage new construction, cause abandonment, retard maintenance, reduce mobility, generate mismatch between housing units and tenants, exacerbate housing discrimination, create black markets, encourage the conversion of rentals to condos, and generally short-circuit the housing market. 
Rent control decreases housing turnover and misallocates housing 
  • Rent control creates an incentive to stay in the same apartment, which leads people to remain in the same apartment even if their tastes and conditions change. 
  • Tenants apply for or remain settled in apartments that do not well suit their needs simply because the apartment carries a low price. 
Rent control increases unemployment and decreases worker mobility 
  • Rent control decreases the mobility of the labor force by making tenants reluctant to move from a rent-controlled apartment. 
  • The inefficient use of time and resources associated with extended commutes, leads to a decline in the quality of job matches for residents.

Portland Draft Multifamily Design Regulations Released - Comments Due 3/19/18

The City of Portland has released its discussion draft of proposed zoning code and map amendments for Portland's apartment zones. Comments are due March 19, 2018.

What’s in the Discussion Draft?
The Discussion Draft includes proposals for major changes to how zoning code regulations shape development in the multi-dwelling zones.  The proposals:

  • Revise the multi-dwelling zones so they relate to different types of places. 
  • Regulate development intensity by the size of buildings, instead of the number of units in a building. 
  • Add incentives for affordable housing. 
  • Allow for small commercial uses along major corridors. 
  • Require shared outdoor spaces like courtyards for larger projects. 
  • Encourage innovative green features and tree preservation. 
  • Limit front garages and surface parking. 
  • Shape building scale and setbacks to integrate development with neighborhoods. 
  • Apply standards for East Portland for better design suited to the area’s characteristics.
Upcoming Events
Learn more about the Discussion Draft proposals at two upcoming open house events.  Project staff will provide a presentation summarizing the proposals and will be available to answer questions.

Central Portland
Wednesday, January 31, 2018, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
1900 SW 4th Avenue, Room 2500 (2nd floor)
TriMet:  Multiple bus, MAX and streetcar lines

Eastern Portland
Thursday, February 8, 2018, 6 – 8 p.m.
9955 NE Glisan Street (Ride Connection Office)
TriMet:  Bus #15 and 19; MAX Blue, Green, Red lines

How to Comment
Comments are due by Monday, March 19, 2018
Send your comments to: