The recommendations were shared with the Bend City Council on July 19, 2017, and were the subject of a City Club of Central Oregon forum on July 20 entitled, “Economic Development in a Housing Crisis: Real Solutions for Solving Our Middle Market Housing Crunch.”
The steering committee for the workgroup includes COAR, Central Oregon Builders Association, Brooks Resources Corporation, Housing Works, OSU-Cascades, the American Institute of Architects Southwestern Oregon Chapter, the City of Bend, and a retired land use attorney.
Additionally, over 25 community members participated in the workgroup, including builders, developers, architects, housing advocates, city councilors and planning commissioners.
The group defined the middle market as 80-175 percent of area median income (AMI), or for individuals and families making between $45,000 and $90,000 annually.
This market segment is important for the local economy, the stability of our residents and also reliving downward housing pressure on those earning below 80 percent of AMI.
The workgroup contracted with ECONorthwest and Cogen Owens Greene to prepare a middle market landscape report to understand the market in Bend, the factors leading to the lack of middle market housing and possible tools to help housing development in this market.
The ECONorthwest research concluded:
- The Bend housing market has seen rapid price increases that affect renters and homeowners at all but the highest income brackets.
- Price increases affect mid-market housing in both direct and indirect ways. Middle-income households in Bend are being squeezed in the housing market from above and below.
READ THE RECOMMENDATIONS.
- Unless trends change, multi-family and single-family unit production will not be sufficient to meet future demand, placing further pressure on mid-market housing availability.
- The costs of construction and financing are driving new construction prices above what is affordable for mid-market homebuyers, even for townhomes.
- New multi-family supply is limited, and is not serving the full rental market
To solve these issues, the workgroup created a master list of 50 tools that could potentially spur housing development in Bend.
The group then researched, refined and vetted the recommendations captured in the recommendations report.
These solutions represent compromise across the groups involved in the project and serves as a model for how community members and organizations can independently succeed at developing strong policy recommendations.
A comprehensive report detailed 12 tools for improving middle market housing to the Bend City Council, several of which are now under active development. To read the full report, click here: READ THE RECOMMENDATIONS.
For more information on our housing work, contact: email@example.com
The Missing Jigsaw Piece, The Source, July 2017