With a housing deficit of around 140,000 units, there is no question that Oregon needs to build more housing.
We have programs in place to subsidize construction of affordable housing, serving those making 60% or less of area median income (AMI). The market is able to provide housing for individuals earning above 120% AMI. But, Oregonians making between 60-120% AMI, our “workforce” or the “missing middle”, are left in the dust and unable to find housing affordable to them. And, no programs currently exist to booster development of housing serving this income range.
The following articles further outline the need for more workforce housing, and offer financing innovations that can help make these types of developments pencil out.
‘Oregon’s Untapped Gold Mine: The homes that don’t yet exist’
By: Michael Andersen, Sightline Institute
A Sightline Institute article outlining common barriers to new housing developments in Oregon and the challenges that come from a state not having enough homes for its residents.
“Cottages that might have slipped into backyards it they’d been able to cover the sewer connection fee. Apartment buildings that might have filled up with nursing assistants and preschool teachers if they’d qualified for a slightly larger loan. Would-be projects across the state that, for one of a thousand reasons, came up a little short on cash and never left the drawing board.”
The article also does a fantastic job of detailing the Housing Innovation Partnership’s concept for a Revolving Loan Fund to spur middle income housing developments, HB 2980. It includes examples of how the Fund would work, and quotes from founders of the bill on why this type of investment is important for Oregon. Check out the full article here.
‘County Needs Affordable Homes for it’s Workers’
By: Nils Christoffersen, Executive Director Wallowa Resources
An op-ed discussing the shortage of workforce housing in Wallowa County, troubles faced due to second-home ownership, and steps Working Homes LLC is taking to develop community-based solutions to mitigate high costs of homebuilding.
“Median home prices have skyrocketed in Wallowa County over the last three decades – appreciating 2.5 times faster than median household incomes.”
Read the full article here.
‘Workforce Housing Legislative Update – A Conversation with The Oregon iSector’
By: The Missing Middle Housing Fund
The MMHF is a nonprofit workforce housing innovation fund and incubator with the mission of lowering workforce housing construction costs through innovation. They recently interviewed iSector Director, Greg Wolf, on the Housing Innovation Partnership’s proposed solutions to address workforce housing.
See more about the MMHF and their conversation with Greg here.
See more articles related to workforce housing on the News section of our website.