20170224_144253After more than 500 hours of workshops and deliberations, the Bend Collaborative Housing Workgroup has released recommendations for spurring middle market housing development in Bend.

READ THE RECOMMENDATIONS.

The recommendations will be shared with the Bend City Council on July 19, and are 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 workgroup will also be featured at the first Innovation Day on July 18 at OSU-Cascades as a new and creative model for achieving policy solutions supported by diverse stakeholders.

BACKGROUND ON THE WORKGROUP

The Bend Collaborative Housing Workgroup was launched at the Bend Livability Conference with a focus on developing policy solutions for increasing middle market housing in Bend.

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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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

IMG_20170224_162459(ECONortwest Landscape Report February 2017)

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.

MEDIA COVERAGE OF THE BEND COLLABORATIVE HOUSING WORKGROUP

Something Missing in Bend: “Middle Housing,” KTVZ, July 2017

The Missing Jigsaw Piece, The Source, July 2017

From Parking To Density, Bend Weighs Affordable Housing Ideas, OPB, July 2017

Solving Bend’s Missing Middle Housing Puzzle, Cascade Business News, July 2017

Bend Group Presents Mid-range Housing Solutions, KBND, July 2017

Bend group presents mid-range housing solutions, Oregon Home Builders Association, July 2017

Missing Middle Housing Market in Bend, Bend Chamber of Commerce, June 2017

Collaborative Housing Workgroup Update, Bend Chamber of Commerce, May 2017

Hundreds turn out to talk about Bend’s “Middle Housing,” The Bulletin, April 2017

Middle Housing Challenges, Bend Chamber of Commerce, April 2017

Solving Bend’s Missing Middle Housing “hub.biz video,” Pinnacle Architecture, April 2017

Solving Bend’s Missing Middle Housing Puzzle, Evensi, April 2017