Monday, December 30, 2019
A round-up of the affordable housing positions of some of the US Democratic Presidential candidates is featured.
Monday, December 23, 2019
Three landlord members of Portland's Rental Services Commission quit due to renter advocate's hostility; Washington State Legislature likely to consider more tenant protections in 2020; the U.S. Supreme Court decides it's ok for the homeless to sleep outside when there are not enough shelter beds available.
Friday, December 20, 2019
Thursday, December 19, 2019
According to the sightline institute in its review of key report findings, millions of Americans would happily reduce their own carbon emissions by living smaller and closer in, with nicely insulated new windows and nice thick walls, if only local zoning allowed it.
Washington Legislature Could Consider Lifting Rent Control Ban, Eliminating No Cause Evictions in 2020
Monday, December 16, 2019
A Seattle City Council member proposes a ban on residential evictions during winter months; a recently built mixed-use development designed by the City of Portland faces increasing criticism as storefronts remain empty two years after opening, and a state of Oregon poll finds that residents believe their financial prospects will continue to improve.
Friday, December 13, 2019
Thursday, December 12, 2019
Beginning January 1, 2020, there are changes to Oregon Revised Statutes 90.295 relating to charging applicant screening fees.
The law now states: “A landlord may only require an applicant to pay a single applicant screening charge within any 60 day period, regardless of the number of rental units owned or managed by the landlord for which the applicant has applied to rent.”
Although this may be simple for landlords using only one set of screening criteria for all of their properties, it is much more complex for landlords with multiple screening criteria, especially when managing affordable housing. It also poses challenges for larger landlords managing many portfolios with applicants submitting applications at multiple sites. In those instances, we advise a company-wide system to allow for monitoring applications from various sources.
Additionally, rules governing screening charge refunds were clarified and are consistent with general industry practices. Landlords must refund applicant screening charges within a “reasonable time” if the landlord fills the vacant unit before screening the applicant or doesn’t screen the applicant. Landlords utilizing waitlists should refrain from processing screening charges until the applicant is the next available person on the waitlist.
Damages for failure to comply with this section are twice the amount paid by the applicant, plus $150. If you have any questions about your specific situation, please make sure you speak to an attorney to stay in compliance with this regulation.
NAA’s analysis shows that these policies decrease the housing supply, harm the condition of existing housing stock and lower property values, which leads to lower tax revenues. These policies ultimately limit job growth and negatively affect local economies.
Read the summary.
Read and download the full 9-page report.
Tuesday, December 10, 2019
Monday, December 9, 2019
This week: Portland developers could be required to provide public space with room for tents under new design guidelines; a 13-year-old 100-unit apartment building owned by the City of Portland evacuated 22 tenants fearing potential roof collapse, and CNN’s Anderson Cooper recently visited the Emerald City for a special report on homelessness.
Friday, December 6, 2019
Thursday, December 5, 2019
Tuesday, December 3, 2019
Monday, December 2, 2019
Portland, Oregon's robust 2019 economy and the forecast for 2020 is discussed in this podcast with local expert Christian Kaylor of the Oregon Employment Department.
Tuesday, November 26, 2019
Monday, November 25, 2019
HFO Marketing Director Named Chair of New Local Nonprofit Working to Build Trust Between Community, Police
An Update on Portland, Oregon's Economy and 2020 Forecast with State of Oregon Analyst Christian Kaylor
Portland government pays $350 thousand in attorneys fees to unreinforced masonry owners for their successful legal challenge against the city; a professor argues that residential infill will only succeed if homeowners are good at being landlords and the Seattle Times reports that despite much fanfare in 2017, Seattle's BLOCK project has built only 9 backyard ADUs for homeless residents.
Friday, November 22, 2019
For more information on the multifamily market and PSU's Real Estate Program, be sure to watch Greg Frick's interview with Dr. Gerard Mildner. You can find this interview and more on our website, or on Youtube.
Monday, November 18, 2019
This week: after declining 80% in the recession, homebuilding finally rebounds; the cities of Lake Oswego and West Linn try to find ways around a new state law requiring multiple housing units, and the Washington State Supreme Court upholds one of Seattle’s latest housing laws.
Thursday, November 14, 2019
Wednesday, November 13, 2019
Tuesday, November 12, 2019
Read more here.
Monday, November 11, 2019
City Council Finishes Public Hearing on Better Housing by Design; Written Testimony Accepted Through Nov. 21st
Better Housing by Design E-UPDATE: November 8, 2019
City Council finishes public hearing on Better Housing by Design proposals – will consider amendments on November 21City Council finished hearing public testimony on the Better Housing by Design Recommended Draft on Wednesday, November 6, 2019. The public hearing started at 2 p.m. and lasted until 5 p.m. 42 people provided testimony during the three-hour hearing. Much of the testimony was on draft amendments requested by City commissioners. A lot of testimony was about whether or not to limit development bonuses for affordable housing based on transit access. There was also a lot of testimony regarding parking exemptions for affordable housing, and a broad range of perspectives were shared on proposals related to historic preservation.
If you missed this hearing, you can view a video of the hearing here. In total, community members have contributed over 250 pieces of written or verbal testimony on the Better Housing by Design proposals.
Written testimony will continue to be accepted through November 21, 2019. You can provide testimony on the broader Recommended Draft proposals, as well as on the draft amendments. Please see below for information on how to submit testimony.
Next Up – Amendments
City Council will discuss and vote on potential amendments to the Recommended Draft on November 21, 2019, starting at 3:45 p.m. in Council Chambers at City Hall. The amendments they will consider include those previously requested by commissioners (see below), as well as any new amendment requests that may emerge from commissioners’ consideration of recent public testimony. Any revisions to the list of draft amendments will be posted online prior to the November 21 session. The public is welcome to attend the November 21 City Council session on the amendments, although this will not be a public hearing.
Learn about the draft amendments
- A table summarizing the draft amendments requested by commissioners (as of November 5) can be found here.
- The full amendments package with complete code language and commentary is here.
- Updates to the list of potential BHD amendments will be posted here: https://www.portlandoregon.gov/bps/80031
These potential BHD amendments include:
- Amendments to the Deeper Housing Affordability Bonus to provide options for affordable ownership housing.
- Expanded exemptions from minimum parking requirements for projects providing affordable housing.
- Limitations on using development bonuses on sites where historic buildings have been demolished in the multi-dwelling and mixed-use zones.
- Prohibitions on using development bonuses on sites more than a 1,500-foot walking distance of frequent-service transit.
- Disallowing 100-foot building height in the RM4 zone in historic districts.
- Requirements for large sites to include indoor common areas, such as community or recreation rooms.
- Zone changes in the King’s Hill Historic District to reduce allowed building scale.
Written testimony will continue to be accepted through November 21, 2019 (you must include your name and address):
How to Testify
Use the Map App:
Select Better Housing by Design and click on the "Testify" button. Testifying in the Map App is as easy as sending an email. And once you press “submit,” you can see your testimony in the Testimony Reader in real time. You can also read other people’s testimony.
By U.S. Mail:
Better Housing by Design Testimony
1221 SW Fourth Avenue, Room 130
Portland, Oregon 97204
Links to Recommended Draft documents:
Recommended Draft Summary - Short summary of the Recommended Draft’s major proposals
Volume 1: Staff Report - Summary and analysis of Recommended Draft Zoning Code and Map amendments
Volume 2: Zoning Code Amendments – Recommended Draft Zoning Code and Comprehensive Plan full text and commentary
Volume 3: Additional Zoning Code Amendments – Zoning Code amendments updating other chapters for consistency
Citywide maps showing the Recommended Draft Zoning Map and Comprehensive Plan Map can be viewed here:
Map of Recommended Draft Zoning
Map of Recommended Draft Comprehensive Plan Designations
Learn about how the Recommended Draft multi-dwelling zoning changes will affect specific properties by using the online Map App: www.Portlandmaps.com/bps/mapapp
Select Better Housing by Design and enter an address to learn about the proposed zoning for a property.
You can find all the Recommended Draft material online at: https://www.portlandoregon.gov/bps/79578
Draft BHD amendments material: https://www.portlandoregon.gov/bps/80031
For more information• Project website: www.portlandoregon.gov/bps/betterhousing
• Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
• Bill Cunningham, Project Manager, 503-823-4203
The Bureau of Planning and Sustainability is committed to providing meaningful access. For accommodations, modifications, translation, interpretation or other services, please call 503-823-7700 or use City TTY 503-823-6868, or Oregon Relay Service 711. 503-823-7700.
Developers in Portland may be required to deconstruct homes built before 1940; Senator Ron Wyden introduces legislation that would make changes to opportunity zones; political action spending in Spokane comes under fire.
Wednesday, November 6, 2019
Portland Housing Bureau Sets Public Hearing for Thursday 11/7 on Rental Screening/Deposit Administrative Rules
the Portland Housing Bureau for rules slated to take effect March 1, 2020.
The Portland Housing Bureau is releasing two sets of Administrative Rules:
- Rental Housing Application and Screening Process establishes rules for PCC 30.01.086
- Rental Housing Security Deposit Process establishes rules for PCC 30.01.087
These two sets of rules provide additional clarity to the public on the implementation of the FAIR ordinances and create forms and notices required by the ordinances. The public is invited to testify on both proposed drafts. Drafts of the proposed changes, as well as notices and meeting information, can be found at www.portlandoregon.gov/phb/FAIRrules.
Paper copies are available at the Portland Housing Bureau at 421 SW 6th Ave, Suite 500.
You can submit testimony or feedback on the drafts. Testimony may be submitted via email, fax, letter, or in person at a public hearing. Written comments or testimony must be received by December 4, 2019 and must include a first and last name to be considered.
- Email your testimony to RentalServices@portlandoregon.gov
- Fax your testimony to 503-823-2387
- Mail your testimony to PHB c/o FAIR Rules 421 SW 6th Avenue Suite 500 Portland, OR 97204
- Testify in person at the public hearing: Thursday, November 7, 2019, from 3-5 pm at the Portland Housing Bureau - 421 SW 6th Avenue, #500, Portland, OR 97204
Monday, November 4, 2019
This week: the Federal Reserve and interest rates; Oregon and Washington politicians promise to work together on the Interstate Bridge project and a new government report on climate change and real estate.
Thursday, October 31, 2019
Tuesday, October 29, 2019
The U.S. Census Bureau reports that the third-quarter 2019 rental vacancy rate for the Portland/ Vancouver/ Hillsboro metro area was 4.7%, an increase of 0.2% from one year earlier. This is close to the recently released Multifamily NW fall survey of nearly 62,000 area apartment units which pegged area vacancies at 4.4%.
Seattle/Tacoma/Bellevue's metro area vacancy rate was listed at 4.6%, down 0.7% from a year ago.
The nation's lowest rental vacancy rates, by metro area:
- Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, PA-NJ - 0.0%
- Worcester, MA - 1.1%
- Minneapolis-St Paul - Bloomington, MN-WI - 2.0%
- Buffalo-Niagra Falls, NY , and Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI - 2.8%
- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA - 3.3%
- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA - 3.7%
- Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA - 3.9%
- Akron, OH - 4.0%
- New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA - and Toledo, OH - 4.3%
- Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA - 4.6%
- Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA / Jacksonville, FL / Bridgeport-Norwalk, CT - 4.7%
The average national rental vacancy rate for Q3 2019 was 6.8 percent for multifamily dwellings of five or more units -- down from 7.1% one year earlier, despite continuous delivery of multifamily units throughout the national market.
Year-over-year vacancy rates in the Western U.S. decreased, from 5.1% to 4.8%.
|Click to Enlarge|
U.S. Homeownership Rate Falls
After falling to a 26-year low in 2016, the homeownership rate has rebounded and has increased slightly over the past year to 64.8%. Homeownership in the West has also increased from 60.2% in Q3 2018 to 60.6% in September 2019.
|Click to Enlarge|
Monday, October 28, 2019
This week: the City of Portland repeals its placard and tenant notification requirements for unreinforced masonry buildings; real estate and construction professionals in the pacific northwest questioned in a recent survey were concerned over environmental regulation, affordable housing, and rent control. And it turns out that the exodus of residents from California may not be wealthy retirees after all.
Thursday, October 24, 2019
Tuesday, October 22, 2019
Keynote speaker Andy Warren, Director of Real Estate Research at PwC, emphasized that the differences between the top 20 metro areas for real estate investment are shrinking. This year, Portland was ranked 20th on the list, while Seattle was 10th. Denver dropped from 10th place last year to 17th this year. Warren commented on the rising phenomenon of "hipsturbia," or millennial hipsters moving to suburbs while expecting walkable urban amenities like bars, breweries, and flexible work spaces. He also emphasized that cities that have invested in infrastructure are the most attractive to investors. According to the Emerging Trends in Real Estate survey, 81% of real estate professionals cite transportation as the most important infrastructure investment a city can make.
Following Warren's presentation, Matt Miller of Greater Portland Inc. moderated a panel featuring Warren, Expensify Founder David Barrett, Bridge Economic Development President Alisa Pyszka, and Eastdil Secured Senior Vice President Mark Washington. The panel discussed Portland's strengths and weaknesses, as well as what the city will need to do in the future to foster economic growth.
Barrett recently moved his company from San Francisco to Portland, which he said was primarily a lifestyle decision. He did not look at school districts or taxes, but instead was drawn to Portland because of the character of its neighborhoods, and its proximity to wine country and outdoor recreation. He urged the developers and planners in the audience not to imitate San Francisco's pattern of development in which urban campuses close themselves off and shut out the local community.
Other panelists, including Alisa Pyszka, emphasized that Portland needs to work on growing its economy from within and focusing on educational opportunities that rely less and bringing in talent from other cities. They also discussed the "trailing spouse" factor - if people move here for job opportunities, will their spouses also be able to find jobs in their field that will keep them in the region?
In terms of barriers to entry and feasibility, the panelists agreed that while local investors may feel that the political and regulatory environment in Portland makes investment and development difficult, investors from larger cities tend to view the city as a relatively untapped market that presents an opportunity for creative options. This was borne out in the survey, which ranked Portland as the #1 city for investment opportunities.
Monday, October 21, 2019
A report finds that rents in most Portland area cities are flat or declining while those in the valley and Eugene are increasing; the Portland water bureau is building a corrosion control facility to reduce the possibility of lead in the city's water supply, and a recent study finds that proximity to transit can increase property values.
Wednesday, October 16, 2019
The traveling helpdesk is available to provide technical/non-legal assistance on Saturdays at the Multnomah County Library branches and dates listed below:
19th - Capitol Hill 10:30 am - 12:30 pm
19th - Belmont - 2:30-3:30 pm
2nd - Holgate 10:30 am - 12 pm
2nd - Gregory Heights 1-3 pm
9th - Midland 10:30 am - 12:30 pm
9th - St. Johns 2-4 pm
16th - Capitol Hill 10:30 am - 12:30 pm
16th - Hollywood 1:30-3 pm
7th - Holgate 10:30 am - 12 pm
7th - Gregory Heights 1-3 pm
14th - Midland 10:30 am - 12:30 pm
14th - St. Johns 2-4 pm
21st - Capitol Hill 10:30 am - 12:30 pm
21st - Belmont 2-3:30 pm
Tuesday, October 15, 2019
Monday, October 14, 2019
This week: Under orders from a Federal Judge, the Portland City Council will have a public hearing October 23 on the court's mandated rollback of its ordinance requiring placards on unreinforced masonry buildings; and the Supreme Court is deciding whether to hear a case challenging the legality of inclusionary zoning.
Wednesday, October 9, 2019
Tuesday, October 8, 2019
Monday, October 7, 2019
This week: CoStar reports that multifamily investment has picked up again after a brief slowdown following the implementation of statewide rent control; Sightline Institute researcher Michael Anderson warns that Portland's Better Housing by Design initiative could be held back by parking requirements; and startups are aiming to disrupt security deposits by requiring less money upfront from tenants and providing insurance to landlords.
Monday, September 30, 2019
HFO-TV: Federal Judge Orders Mayor Wheeler, Commissioner Hardesty to Appear in Court if Council Fails to Comply
City of Portland Better Housing by Design plan for Apartment Buildings - Public Hearing Oct. 2, 3 pm
The Better Housing by Design project is part of a broader Housing Opportunities Initiative that includes the residential infill project and a new anti-displacement action plan effort.
The public hearing is scheduled for 3 pm on Wednesday, October 2nd at Portland City Hall. Three hours have been allotted for the hearing. Discussion and vote will take place at a subsequent council meeting.
Want to comment but can't make the hearing?
Testimony may be submitted online through October 2nd using the online map app.
Thursday, September 26, 2019
Monday, September 23, 2019
Washington Post Editorial Board: Populists Are Wrong, Rent Control Does Not Help Cost-Burdened Renters
This week: Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler announced that the city will be investing $115.3 million from the city's housing bond in 9 new projects; the Southwest Corridor MAX Line's steering committee will meet to discuss a handful of planning and budgeting issues that have arisen; a new working paper published by Harvard's Joint Center for Housing Studies highlights the steep decline in the number of affordable rental units nationwide.
Wednesday, September 18, 2019
|Tien Nguyen, Nick Quandt and Rachel Reuter|
Each year, the Business Journal ranks the most generous corporate philanthropists in four categories. For years HFO has ranked among the top 25, but this year marks the third time HFO has been in the top 10 for area businesses with annual revenue of $10 million or less.
HFO regularly contributes to charity for each transaction in the client’s honor. We created a corporate matching fund that makes annual year-end donations to nonprofits selected by brokers and staff.
HFO’s top charities in 2018 were:
$5,000 - Outside In
$5,000 - Morrison Child and Family Services
$1,000 - Meals on Wheels
For 2019 HFO’s top charities are:
$5,000 - Face 2 Face Portland
$5,000 - Girls Inc.
Pictured here (L-R) Rachel Reuter and Donna Brunner.
Below: (L-R) Stephen Wendt and Rob Stigle.
Monday, September 16, 2019
This week: Oregon’s Congressional representative Earl Blumenauer issues a call for federal action to address the housing crisis; CityLab reports that housing construction in all major US metros stalled out in the last decade; California passes statewide rent control.
Thursday, September 12, 2019
The President of the National Multifamily Housing Council, Doug Bibby, issued the following statement in response:
"The most effective way to fix California’s housing crisis is by building more housing across a range of price points and AB-1482 makes that harder to do. After Californians overwhelmingly rejected the rent control ballot initiative less than a year ago, lawmakers today went against their constituents by passing a measure that will discourage investment, shrink the availability of affordable housing that already exists and squeeze even more people struggling in the housing market. This makes the problem worse. The housing affordability crisis is real, real Americans are being harmed by it every day and we need real solutions – not restrictive policies that we know don’t work.”
Tuesday, September 10, 2019
The report indicates that 328,000 new apartment homes are needed each year to meet demand, but producing that housing requires new approaches to development, more incentives, and fewer restrictions.
Recent apartment construction has contributed more than $150 billion to the national economy and created 752,000 jobs.
Areas with high to moderate barriers to new apartments include Seattle and Portland.
- All four sectors of the industry have posted very strong growth, punctuated by the construction industry ramping up to meet the unprecedented demand for apartments this cycle – reaching a height of 346,900 completions in 2017, up from 129,900 in 2011.
- Previous research by Hoyt Advisory Services found that we need to build an average of 328,000 apartments per year at a variety of price points to meet existing demand, which would bring continued economic activity. This number of multifamily completions has only been surpassed twice since 1989.
- Hoyt research also found that a significant portion of the existing apartment stock will need to be renovated in the coming years, boosting spending in the renovation and repair sector.
- The combined contribution of apartment construction, operations, renovation, and resident spending equals $3.4 trillion per year, or more than $9.3 billion daily.
Monday, September 9, 2019
Despite Evidence That It Improves Returns, Commercial Real Estate Industry Lags on Diversity and Inclusion
This week: King County Washington plans to divert nearly $100 million to affordable housing over the next 20 years without raising taxes; Sacramento, California passes a rent control measure; and almost two-thirds of Portland residents say they have no input into city decisions that are important to them.
Tuesday, September 3, 2019
This week: a survey of Portland residents find that 61% do not feel like they have a say in city decisions that are important to them; a new law in Washington could allow King County to divert nearly $100 million to affordable housing projects over the next 20 years without raising taxes; and Portland and Seattle are in the top 10 among cities with the highest shares of residents with college or professional degrees.
Friday, August 30, 2019
Wednesday, August 28, 2019
Tuesday, August 27, 2019
Monday, August 26, 2019
This week: while more than 70 percent of economists think a recession will begin in the next two years, its predicted to have less impact on housing; insurers are dropping customers in areas of the west more prone to wildfires--leaving state insurance plans as the only option; and the Department of Housing and Urban Development plans to implement a rule this fall that would make it harder to bring certain discrimination claims under the Fair Housing Act.
Monday, August 19, 2019
This week: Representatives of landlord and tenant groups question the Portland Rental Services Office's use of funds generated by the new rental services fee to pay OneApp Oregon for renter data; economic indicators are causing investors to worry about a potential recession; a report from the Terner Center for Housing finds that impact fees are negatively impacting housing construction in California.
Wednesday, August 14, 2019
Funding of OneApp Oregon through Rental Services Fee Receives Criticism from Landlord and Tenant Groups
Monday, August 12, 2019
This week: The Portland City Council approved an annual $60 per unit fee on rental housing; Oregon Secretary of State Bev Clarno released a report on end-of-budget-cycle spending among state agencies, issuing 16 recommendations to improve transparency in state budgets; the National League of Cities' Housing Taskforce is calling on cities to work together to collect and share data in order to take on the nationwide housing shortage.
Thursday, August 8, 2019
Wednesday, August 7, 2019
The city council passed the fee over the objections of landlords, who testified a week earlier that the charge was a tax that would be passed on to renters since all the services it supports were for renters. Read more.