Oregon’s Housing Crisis: The Perfect Storm

It’s no secret that many Oregonians currently searching for housing are frustrated. Early in January it was reported that Oregon, for the third consecutive year, is the top moving destination compared to every other state. The rank surely comes as no surprise to anyone who has lived here. Oregon is an incredible place to call home. But the fact that nearly 20% more people are moving to, rather than away from, Oregon is just one of the contributing factors that has created “the perfect storm” of our current housing crisis.

The housing crisis isn’t limited to Oregon, nor is it limited to the Portland metro area. But if you rent, lease, or are looking to buy a home, it’s likely you’ll be met with this simple fact: there are too few homes for two many people. The law of supply and demand is thereby reflected in rising costs.

As we begin the 2016 legislative session, many Oregonians are looking to their legislators for help. Leading up to the session, the Oregon Association of REALTORS® has been at the table with a small group of legislators attempting to craft legislation that will help provide some relief to Oregonians in search of housing.

We believe there is a pathway to craft some meaningful legislation this session. And while some proposals have focused on stability for renters, addressing the supply and demand equation is going to take some heavy lifting and bipartisan support if we are to enact meaningful changes in this short 35-day session.

At the end of week one of the 2016 session, we may have the makings of a compromise bill — legislation that will provide some rental assistance, down payment assistance, and ease some of the escalating development costs on home builders.