Tuesday, October 30, 2018

National Apartment Construction Slows

The National Real Estate Investor reports that building permits for apartments fell nationally in September. Read more.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Washington Voting Roundup: Major Races, Measures, and Endorsements

Washington State is facing a sweeping election this November - all 98 state house seats, 29 state senate seats, 10 US congressional districts, and one US senate seat will be determined by this election. The state is also poised to decide on a number of ballot initiatives regarding hot button issues. While we are not providing detailed information on every race in the state, we hope this resource guide will be a good place to start.

General Election Information
Voters' Pamphlet
Video Voters' Guide
State Elections Website
FAQ about Elections in Washington State MyVote
Seattle Times - Election 2018: What You Need to Know

The Stranger's Endorsements for the November 6, 2018 General Election
Seattle Times Editorial Board Endorsements
Spokesman Review - Editorial Endorsements
The News Tribune Endorsements

Ballot Measures - Washington
NBC - What Is Initiative 1631?
Spokesman-Review - Big Money Pours into Fight over Washington's Carbon Fee
News Tribune - Here's What Yes and No Votes Mean for the "Grocery Tax," Washington Initiative 1634
Spokesman-Review - Lopsided I-1634 Campaign, with Millions from Soda Industry, Blankets Airwaves
Spokesman-Review - Advisory Vote 19 Involves a Tax on Crude Oil
King5 - What Is Washington I-1639 on Gun Safety?
Olympian - I-1639: a Big Nudge to Safety for Gun Culture
King5 - What Is Washington I-940 on Police Use of Deadly Force?
KOMO News - Both Sides of I-940 Agree "Use of Deadly Force" Measure May Just Be First Step

National Races
KREM2 - Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Lisa Brown to go Head-to-Head in Nov. Election
Columbian - McMorris Rodgers, Brown Spar on Taxes, Economy, and Health Care in Second Congressional Debate
Spokesman-Review - Where 5th District Candidates Stand on the Issues
Columbian OPB - Poll Shows Herrera Beutler and Long in Virtual Tie in Race for Congress
Spokesman-Review - Cantwell, Hutchison Get Down to Details at Spokane Community College Debate
Spokesman-Review - US Senate Candidates Debate Taxes, Guns, Civility
The Olympian - A Midterm "Kavanaugh Bump?" Why All Sides Are Watching this Washington District

State Legislature
King5 - Washington State Legislature Races to Watch This Election
OPB - Legislative Landscape to be Decided by Washington Voters
Seattle Times - Washington's Legislature: Democrats Could Pick Up 4 GOP Seats in Senate
Seattle Times - Beyond Seattle, Legislative Candidates Try to Woo Voters with Plans to East Housing Costs

Local Races - Clark County
Columbian - Clark County Hopefuls Clash on Issues
Columbian - Sequel of Sorts for Lebowsky, Fox in Unusual Race
Columbian - Stewart, Lentz Give Voters Clear Contrast
Columbian - Vancouver City Council Hopefuls Discuss Housing

Local Races - Spokane
Spokesman-Review - Spokane County Commissioner Candidates Debate Housing, Public Safety, Economy
Spokesman-Review - Jeff Holy, Jessa Lewis Vying for Washington's 6th District Senate Seat
Spokesman-Review - Spokane County Treasurer Candidates Square off over Office's Role in Policymaking, Proper Investments

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Oregon Voting Roundup: Major Races, Measures, and Endorsements

With election day just two weeks away, we're providing links with information to help you fill out your ballots in Oregon. 

There are a lot of candidates and ballot measures. Hopefully, you can find the answers to any questions you may have while you’re trying to make important decisions.

General Election Information

Willamette Week Endorsements


Governor’s Race

Portland City Council

Ballot Measures – Oregon

Ballot Measures – Portland




Monday, October 22, 2018

Rental Reduction: Illegal AirBNBs Expected to Eliminate 1,500 Rentals

AirBNB has admitted it's the reason rentals have been reduced by at least 1,400 in Portland. There are probably more, but the city isn't doing much to enforce regulations on the industry. Read more.

Meanwhile, could Portland's increasing rental regulations be contributing to the selloff in area homes? Read: "Homes For Sale Stack Up Across Portland Metro."  [Note: prices are still increasing despite the additional homes being marketed.]

Report: Oregon Has Underproduced Housing by 155,000 Units Since 2000

A new report issued by Up for Growth and ECONorthwest finds that Oregon has underproduced new housing by approximately 155,000 units since 2000, despite robust construction activity over the past few years. At the same time, the regional population has been growing. Between 2010 and 2016, fewer than one housing unit was built for each new household in Multnomah County. In order to make up for this, the report suggests increasing the percentage of medium- and high-density housing that is built over the next 20 years. Previously, 67% of new housing has been single family homes - the report suggests decreasing that to 8% of new housing units. Read more.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

HFO Recognized by the Portland Business Journal as a Top Corporate Philanthropist

At yesterday's Corporate Philanthropy awards event, HFO ranked among the largest cash donors to charity in its size category. Marketing Director Aaron Kirk Douglas accepted the award from publisher Craig Wessel at the event.

(L-R) Aaron Kirk Douglas, Craig Wessel

Opinion: Let's Not Save Land Next to Rail Line to Bridgeport Village for Mansions

Do we really need giant houses along a future light rail line that will cost local residents at least $1 billion?

In a recently published article for the Sightline Institute Author Michael Anderson argues: "Portland should legalize apartment buildings near its future rail stations, then find offsets that ensure a meaningful number of those new homes are affordable to people who truly need to ride the train."

Read more. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Multifamily NW Fall 2018 Apartment Report Released

At this morning's Multifamily NW Apartment Report breakfast, the fall 2018 report was released.

The metro-area rental vacancy rate has decreased slightly over the past six months, but the current 4.4 vacancy rate was basically unchanged from 4.37 percent one year ago.

Submarket vacancies were reported as follows:
Click here to view and download the full report.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Multifamily Marketwatch Podcast - Monday October 15, 2018

On Sunday, the Oregonian/Oregonlive endorsed Knute Buehler for Oregon's next governor. Now that the race for governor is a statistical dead heat between Buehler and incumbent Democrat Kate Brown, we're making available the audio from Buehler's speech to apartment owners from our roundtable event held earlier this year. 

Thursday, October 11, 2018

City of Portland: URM Signage Required on Private Buildings by March 1, 2019 | Commission Takes Up Renter Screening Proposal Tuesday 10/16/18

The Portland City Council voted yesterday to require signage for unreinforced masonry (URM) buildings according to the following timeline:

The signs are required to be durable 8”x10” placards with 50-point bold font lettering that are posted in a conspicuous location on the exterior at the main entrance stating:

This Building is an Unreinforced Masonry Building. Unreinforced Masonry Buildings may be unsafe in an event of a Major Earthquake.

January 1, 2019 - publicly-owned buildings
March 1, 2019 – privately owned buildings
November 1, 2020 - non-profit buildings

Tenant Notification and Lease Notices

  • Building owners must notify existing tenants that the building is an unreinforced masonry building, and that unreinforced masonry buildings may be unsafe in the event of a major earthquake.
  • Every lease or rental agreement entered into or renewed after the timeline for placarding noted above, must contain the above statement.
  • Building owners must record an agreement not to remove the placard and acknowledgment of compliance with tenant notification requirements.
Read more in the Oregonian

Read more in The Mercury


Meanwhile, the City of Portland Rental Services Commission will take up the issue of the Renter Screening Proposal once again on Tuesday, October 16, 2018, from 2:30-5 pm. Public testimony will be taken from 3:10 to 3:40 pm. The meeting will be held at the Portland Housing Bureau, 421 SW 6th Avenue, Suite 500, Portland, OR 97204.  Read the fully revised September 27, 2018 draft. 

Monday, October 8, 2018

Upcoming Rental Services Commission & City Council Meetings on Tenant Screening, URM Placards

The Portland City Council did not vote on October 3rd on the placard/notice issue. They are taking a vote on Wednesday, October 10th at 9:45 am at City Hall. Read the final draft here.

The Rental Services Commission (RSC) serves as the primary public forum for discussion of rental housing law and regulation, and renter-owner programs and services in the City of Portland. The group recently paused (for now) its plans to set up regulations on tenant screening and security deposits. However, this plan is expected to be discussed at a meeting rescheduled to Tuesday, October 16th - time TBA.

RSC meetings are open to the public and public testimony is invited. Agendas and meeting materials will be posted online here. For more information, visit www.portlandoregon.gov/phb/RSCClick here to sign up for the Rental Services Commission email list to receive meeting notices and related updates.

Next meeting: Tuesday, October 16, 2018 [rescheduled from Weds. Oct. 10th]
Time: TBA
Place: Portland Housing Bureau, 421 SW 6th Avenue, Suite 500, Portland 97204

This post updated September 25, 2018 with additional information.
This post updated again October 8th with the cancelation of its 10/10 meeting which was rescheduled to 10/16.

Friday, October 5, 2018

Bend Bulletin Editorial: Don't Be Like Portland

An editorial in the Bend Bulletin urges the city to avoid following in the footsteps of Portland when it comes to landlord-tenant law. The Bulletin takes particular issue with Portland's 90-day eviction notice ordinance as well as Commissioner Chloe Eudaly's proposal to change the way landlords can screen tenants. According to the Bulletin's editors, "No city, not Portland and certainly not Bend, should eviscerate the decision-making power of business owners." Read more.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Portland Housing Bureau 18-Month Review of Inclusionary Housing Program

The Portland Housing Bureau released an 18-month review of the city’s inclusionary housing program last week. The report, which lacks clarity regarding many of its data points, finds that there are still 8,294 pre-inclusionary housing units in the pipeline, and that so far the program has resulted in a pipeline of 362 affordable units. The Housing Bureau estimates that the inclusionary units in the 36 privately financed projects that are currently in the process of being permitted represent the equivalent of a $32 million public subsidy. Most of the units proposed are studios or one-bedrooms, rather than the family-sized units the city has previously said are most needed. 

The report also finds:
  • Annual rent increases are below 2%
  • Concessions have increased by 2-3%
  • Occupancy at delivery rates have fallen to 30%
In January 2019, the Housing Bureau and the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability plan to consider increasing the FAR bonus for projects in the central city and will recalibrate the off-site program options to allow for more flexibility.

Inclusionary Housing will be on the docket at a Planning and Sustainability Commission meeting scheduled for Tuesday October 9th at 12:30pm. Written testimony can be submitted by email to PSC@PortlandOregon.gov, with the subject line “Inclusionary Housing Extension Zoning Code.”

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Real Clear Politics: Oregon Governor's Race a "Tossup"

Now that the race for Oregon Governor is a statistical dead heat between incumbent Democrat Kate Brown and her Republican challenger Knute Buehler, we're reposting Buehler's speech from the HFO Investor Roundtable for those who missed it.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Eudaly Eliminates Leaf Fees

Commissioner Chloe Eudaly, who is newly in charge of the Portland Bureau of Transportation, announced today that she is eliminating the leaf fees property owners have had to pay since 2010. Leaf collection costs will now be paid by PBOT's general fund. The additional costs are not expected to impact other bureau services. The typical leaf collection fees in Portland's leaf districts range from $15 for small residences to $65 for businesses and apartment complexes with 4 or more units. Read more.

Gubernatorial Candidates Brown & Buehler on Housing Issues

As part of an ongoing series on policy platforms, the Oregonian published an article highlighting gubernatorial candidates Kate Brown and Knute Buehler's stances on housing policy. 

On the Affordable Housing Shortage
While both emphasize the need for more affordable housing units, some of which may be produced by the state, Buehler has also argued for reducing regulatory costs, fees, and timelines associated with building affordable housing. While Brown believes the state should build 2,200 new housing units and preserve 400 existing units, Buehler does not believe the state should own or operate housing. 

On Tenant Protections
Brown wants to revive a measure that would end no-cause evictions, while Buehler voted against a similar bill in 2017. In 2016, Buehler co-sponsored a bill that would have prevented landlords from raising rent in the first year of a month-to-month tenancy. Neither Brown nor Buehler supports repealing the state ban on rent control.