City focuses on strategies for more diverse housing inventory
How shall a City accommodate growth while addressing the community’s current and future housing and employment needs? Creating opportunities for an inclusive and diverse housing inventory has been an identified goal of City Council for years, and Oregon State Law assigns cities such as Hood River the responsibility to provide housing needed for citizens of all income levels. The City recently worked with ECONorthwest to update its housing data with a new report, “Housing Market & Demographic changes from 2015-2019.” The document supplements the City’s 2015 Housing Needs Analysis (HNA) that describes how to utilize available land to accommodate growth of needed housing types while meeting the needs of households at all income levels.
The City is moving this goal forward in a number of ways with projects to improve the “missing middle” housing supply through development code, zone changes, and permitting improvements. It’s also exploring land acquisitions and researching incentives for construction of smaller homes and more affordable housing products.
Hood River’s housing market continues to change, as indicated by housing markers related to affordability, supply and population. The housing update concludes what many have already surmised — since 2015, population has continued to grow, and housing has become less affordable. Hood River continues to have a need for housing at all income levels and specifically affordable to households earning less than $75,000/year.
Key findings since 2015 include:
- Hood River’s population growth is slowing. At the current average projection rate of 1.4%, the City would add 2,900 people by 2035.
- Housing costs have increased and so have rates of households that are cost-burdened (spend at least 30% of their income a to rent or mortgage). Sales prices increased by about 37% between 2014 and 2019, while rents increased to a median monthly rent of $1,550 per month.
- Similarly, cost burdened households increased to 37% (26% of homeowners and 48% of renters are now cost-burdened).
- Most new housing developed since 2014 was single-family detached housing, with 20% townhomes and 10% multi-family dwellings.
While slower population growth may reduce the need for a UGB expansion before 2035, Hood River continues to face many of the basic housing problems and land constraints it had in 2015:
- Very limited land supply within the UGB (and a complex process to enlarge the UGB).
- Few opportunities for development of multi-family housing.
- Continued decrease in housing affordability as a result of rapid increases in housing prices and rental costs.
Westside Area Concept Plan process complete
The City of Hood River completed its process to refine and adopt the Westside Area Concept Plan, an integrated land use and transportation plan made up of walkable neighborhoods with a variety of housing types.
After nearly two years of deliberations, the Hood River Planning Commission and City Council reached consensus on multiple elements of the concept plan — Neighborhood & Districts, Streets & Transit, Pedestrian & Bicycle Connections, Parks & Open Space frameworks and Land Use. These concepts will be used to inform the various regulation updates and future planning efforts.
The City continues to work on development code updates that will support the development of greater diversity in housing products across the community. “In general, people would like to see a mix of housing types, walkable neighborhoods that incorporate open spaces and active transportation options that support the vitality of the community,” shared Planning Director Dustin Nilsen. “Updates to the City’s regulations are necessary to realize these goals and to increase the efficiency of future development and the diversity of housing types.”
Please consider signing up HERE to receive quarterly Emails of future editions of Hood River City Connect.
Si le gusta lo que acaba de leer, considere inscribirse AQUI para recibir correos electrónicos trimestrales de futuras ediciones de Hood River City Connect.