Housing shortage impedes progress on homelessness

By Eric A. Howald Of the Keizertimes Six months to three years. That’s how long a wait some area residents can expect to wait for affordable housing to become available, according to a panel of property managers who attended a meeting of the Mid-Willamette Homelessness Initiative July 20. “We have pages and pages of wait lists and it’s almost daily that people walk out of the office crying,” said Cathie Miles of Shelter Management, Inc. A conversation with members of the Initiative task force covered topics ranging from the availability of affordable housing to the common problems encountered with low-income renters and the overall state of the housing market. The central message from the property managers was that more housing is needed and developers need more incentives to build it. “Developers need to be offered incentives to develop properties, affordable system development charges and tax incentives,” said Valerie White, owner of Encompass Management & Consulting, who added that she is curating waiting lists for every type of housing she manages. “We have 50 people waiting on single-family housing in Keizer. For them it doesn’t matter how much it costs, they want to live in a certain school district or a certain house or near a job.” According to a 2014 analysis of census data, Oregon ranks 46th in terms of providing low-income housing to the state’s impoverished. There were...

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