Fall 2016: Rent with Living Room Realty
Carson Mead, Living Room Realtor, assists tenants looking for a home to rent. Recently, he gave us an update on the Portland rental market:
“Supply continues to be limited for housing, though it does seem like the number of newly-built apartment units are easing some of the strain. The issue continues to be affordability, with many of the new apartment complexes renting at market rate, while the limited supply of single family homes relative to demand continues to push prices up.”
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Are there any neighborhoods that offer good value to renters?
“I'm liking some of the areas of N Portland around University Park and Portsmouth. There's good accessibility to I-5 and the MAX line, and Lombard and N Columbia Blvd are pretty dependable as thoroughfares able to quickly move east and west.
Even though it's not as common to find rentals, I think Sellwood and Brooklyn are also wonderful parts of town that offer very good accessibility to public transportation and are just a quick drive via Hwy 99 to great close-in locations. There's a mix of single family, multifamily, and apartments that offer a variety of options.”
Are you paying attention to Bond Measure 26-179, the Affordable Housing Bond?
I serve on my neighborhood association board, the NECN (Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods) Land Use division. I hear a lot of presentations about what the city is doing to encourage developers to include more affordable housing, and different kinds of policies that are being discussed to keep our growth sustainable. I think this measure has some elements to it that are really important. I would encourage everyone to engage with the process and be as involved as possible to make your voice heard. Engagement is an important part of our public process. It offers unique insight into local government and what's happening in the city and neighborhoods.
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Ballot Measure 26-179
Most of us are aware that Portland is in the midst of an unprecedented housing emergency. Not only have levels of homelessness been on the rise, there is also a chronic shortage of affordable housing options. On November 8, Portland voters will have a chance to vote YES for affordable housing by approving a historic bond measure. This bond funding would help fill the affordable housing gap, creating safe, affordable housing for thousands of people who live and work in our communities.
If passed, the bond will raise $258.4 million over 20 years, beginning in 2017, to acquire and build affordable housing in Portland. The bond will cost about $75 per year, or $6.25 per month, for the owner of a home assessed at $178,230 (the average assessed value for Portland). This is $.4208/$1,000 of assessed value.
The affordable housing bond will create new affordable homes for 2,900 Portlanders, with at least 1,300 high quality affordable apartment homes. The housing built by the Bond must remain permanently affordable, providing affordable homes for tens of thousands of households over the life of the housing.
Most of the bond funding is dedicated for extremely low-income people who are homeless or living on fixed incomes, including seniors and people with disabilities. 600 units will be for people in households that earn less than 30% of the median family income (about minimum wage). For a family of 4, that is $25,300 a year or $17,700 for a single person. The remaining units provide rental housing to people working in low or moderate wage jobs. A Community Oversight Committee will monitor the bond program to ensure low-income households continue to be served in Bond funded apartments.
Yes for Affordable Homes is a broad coalition of individuals and organizations working to support the affordable housing bond measure. To learn more about Measure 26-179, find articles here from the Willamette Week, Portland Tribune, and the Oregonian.
Fall 2016: Property Management Update
Brad Twiss at LRR Property Management Considers the impact of the housing bond on landlords
We asked Living Room Property Manager Brad Twiss to provide perspective on Bond Measure 29-176 based on his experience working with landlords and tenants in the Portland housing market.
“I think this measure would have little impact on our market rate renters— and that’s a good thing. The short term solutions that have been proposed (eliminating no cause evictions, or enacting rent control) could further limit housing supply. At LRPM, we serve a lot of first-time landlords who are very nervous about the process. If those kinds of changes went into effect, I know a lot of homeowners would rather sell their home than rent— restricting the rental market even further.
Other than creating a modest increase in property taxes for landlords, I don’t think this measure will have a very large impact on the conventional rate housing market. It will be most beneficial for those living on the brink of homelessness, and that’s why I think it’s so important.
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It’s important to remember that the data shows folks don’t stay in affordable housing for the rest of their lives—most are able to get back on their feet and enter the conventional rental market again. Perhaps this is optimistic—but having more renters that are on a path to the conventional-rate rental market could be positive for our landlords.
I’m 26 years old and fortunate enough to be a homeowner and landlord. It has come with hard work, but—I’m ashamed to say how easy it is for me to take money and housing for granted. I hadn’t thought much about Portland’s affordable housing crisis until the Welcome Home Coalition educated our company, telling the story of homeless families, the reality of shelter life, and the long waits for affordable housing.
I think it’s our job as Portland residents to help those less fortunate than ourselves. If all I have to do as a homeowner and landlord is support a bond that will mean a few dollars more a month on my mortgage payment, it seems like the absolute least I could do.
If you are a landlord or tenant, Living Room Property Management is here to serve. Call us at 503-929-5223 or find us at LivingRoomRentals.com.