Affordable Housing is an Oregon-Wide Issue and These Articles Prove It

NEWSPAPERMAP_webPolicymakers, service providers, and community members throughout the state are speaking up about the need for more housing opportunity in their communities—and the media is paying attention. We have compiled just some of this coverage showing the impact of Oregon’s shortage of affordable housing. Both cities and rural communities are seeing families struggling to make ends meet, with few housing options.

The solutions proposed at the Oregon legislature will help increase housing stability in these communities through tenant protections, affordable housing creation and preservation, and resources to provide emergency housing and homeless assistance. To learn more about these solutions and how you can help make them happen, go to the Housing Alliance’s agenda. You can also download and share a PDF version of this list here.

  • Statewide: “If affordable housing were more available, the number of homeless families would drop, wherever they are in the state,” speaking to the 9% increase in students facing homelessness. – The Oregonian
  • Central Oregon: “The lack of housing might be dire in Central Oregon, but the situation is even more so for those who experience mental illness.” – The Bulletin
  • Benton County: “‘[M]any of the homeless ‘went to school here, have families here and grew up here…A lot of them work minimum-wage jobs and can’t afford housing…Then there are around 200 homeless kids who sleep in cars every night.’” – Albany Democrat-Herald
  • Clackamas County, Oregon City: “Oregon City residents remain homeless after parts of two large apartment complexes had to be evacuated due to landslide dangers.” – The Oregonian
  • Clatsop County: “The challenge I run into, day after day, week after week, is, there’s not a vast amount of affordable housing that I can put veterans into [even with housing assistance].” – The Daily Astorian
  • Columbia County: “An extremely tight rental housing market in Columbia County has renters facing staggering increases in monthly costs…In some cases, residents opt to buy a recreational vehicle and live in it in parks or even on the streets.” – The Chronicle
  • Crook County: “[A] deep concern of mine is to provide housing for the elderly and working folks. If we don’t, where will they go?… We don’t have affordable housing anywhere in the area.” – The Bulletin
  • Deschutes County, Bend: “‘The fire department is having trouble finding places for fire fighters—it’s not just sort of a lower-income homelessness issue, but we have that challenge as well. I think that the more we raise the alarm that this is a real threat to our town like any other wildfire, earthquake, or economic collapse, this a real threat to Bend, and we have to treat it like that.’” – The Source Weekly
  • Douglas County: “The vacancy rate is very, very low…They’re telling us that there’s nothing out there to rent.” – NRtoday
  • Eastern Oregon: “Our school districts reflect Oregon in homeless students. A lack of housing in some cities in Eastern Oregon has contributed to an increase in student homelessness…[E]ven hard-working couples find it increasingly difficult to afford housing in our growing state.” – East Oregonian
  • Hood River County: “Our anecdotal evidence from people who are leaving is that it’s too expensive to live here and raise a family here.” – Oregon Live
  • Jackson County, Ashland: “Finding housing that is affordable to rent and/or to purchase is a significant issue for many Ashland residents and others who would like to live in Ashland…” – The Siskiyou
  • Lane County: “One of the key factors in the high cost of living is housing…the cheapest housing is often a long way from where the jobs are — in remote rural areas, for example.” – The Register Guard and the United Way ALICE Report
  • Marion County, Salem: “It’s obvious to me that more people who are on a fixed income such as seniors and the disabled will start becoming homeless because so little housing is affordable here now.” — Willamette Live
  • Multnomah County: “If the housing and rental market affect every aspect of poverty, including education, youth violence, displacement and gentrification. Without stable housing, all of our approaches to ending poverty and giving people an opportunity at a better life begin to fall in on themselves.” – Street Roots
  • Polk County: “One of the resources we most need in Polk County is housing and transportation.”– Statesman Journal
  • Tillamook County: “[T]he lack of housing ‘absolutely’ threatens the long-term viability of [Tillamook Cheese Factory]…Our current employees struggle with not being able to find affordable housing.” – The Oregonian.
  • Umatilla County: “[A Hermiston woman experiencing homelessness…] was told that it would probably take between eight months and two years to get a place. In the meantime, the only local homeless shelter…is reserved for families who meet certain criteria.” – The Associated Press
  • Union County: “It’s hard to get [low-income] housing [in La Grande] for some reason. “There are a lot of people in (a homeless) situation right now,” Pearson said. “People who have lost their homes or their jobs. There seems to be a heightened number of homeless folks, and it’s not just younger people with children — it’s older people as well.”– The Observer
  • Wasco County: “‘If we issue 10 vouchers, five or six of them may find a place. We really are at one of the most heightened, challenging positions we’ve been in with regards to our housing market.’”– The Dalles Chronicle
  • Wallowa County: “The lack of local housing at Wallowa Lake Village had reduced the pool of firefighters that lived in that area down to one, which has led to a steep increase in fire insurance premiums.” – Wallowa County Chieftain
  • Yamhill County, Newberg: “We wanted Newberg to be a healthy, vibrant community…And when you have a middle class who can’t afford their homes you do not have healthy or vibrant citizens: the stress of being burdened by your house payment is eventually going to wear down on you.”– The Newberg Graphic

Use Our Easy Tool to Take Action by Feb. 3 at 3pm to Protect Tenants and Advocate for Affordable Homes in Oregon