A pdf of the above image is available at https://friendsoftheunsheltered.org/wp-content/uploads/CA-RHNA.pdf.
During the June 12, 2023 Seaside City Council meeting Rick Bowers shared this information during the 3-minute public comment period. Here is the link to the meeting (opens in a new window): https://www.youtube.com/live/8kf_jJMGCec?feature=share&t=393
3-Minute Public Comment
Over the past several months I, Rick Bowers, have shared various facts related to housing and homelessness. Today I’m going to add my opinion about the direction the state seems to be taking. I’m really frustrated because to me it seems Oregon is heading down the same failed housing path as California… where housing prices and associated homelessness is much worse than here. Why my concern…?
Recent legislation steers Oregon in a new direction toward attempting to solve the housing crisis. In a nutshell, Oregon is modelling its housing forecasting methodology on California’s approach. A 2021 consultant’s report, based on this new methodology, estimated Clatsop county would need 4,295 additional housing units within 20 years. They estimate 48% of the needed housing is in the range from extremely-low to low income.
Having accurate forecasts is one thing; actually building the housing is another. California has used 8-year planning/building cycles and is in the process of wrapping up Cycle 5. For the last five years 83% of the developed housing has been in the Above Moderate Income category when much of the demand, as well as the goals, are for less expensive housing. So, they’ve been at this for 40 years and they are still building the wrong type of housing.
Like California, Oregon’s approach seems to be encouraging, rather than requiring, local jurisdictions to make substantive changes to policies, procedures, codes and / or ordinances to promote more housing. For example, in Oregon only cities above the 10,000 population threshold even need to play the game. Most of Clatsop can continue as usual. Also, Oregon has not made substantive changes in zoning at the state level. In California, the Governor is just now asking for laws to force cities to comply… after 40 years. How many twenty-year cycles do we have to go through before Oregon gets serious about providing affordable housing which is the greatest need?
As in California, Oregon seems to be relying on subsidized housing for the lower income range. That requires a government subsidy of almost $200,000 per unit… which translates to about half a billion dollars for affordable housing for Clatsop County. Where do we get that kind of money?
My point, I suspect we’re going to have a housing shortage for decades and should plan on finding other ways to support homeless folks for the long haul. We can’t rely on market solutions in Oregon’s highly regulated environment hoping the housing problem will go away. It won’t go away given Oregon’s current strategy…; in my humble opinion.