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Culture » Take Me Home

Housing Woes Hit Prineville

Rental vacancy rate goes to less than 1 percent

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A recent article in the Central Oregon Association of Realtors real estate news referenced an article in the Central Oregonian, which reported some surprising information on the Prineville housing market. The article mentioned that the rental vacancy rate in Prineville is less than one percent, and that like Bend, the Prineville City Council was dealing with issues of affordable housing. Apparently the large number of construction workers for the new data centers need temporary housing—so motels and local rentals are full.

According to the article, the Prineville City Council met in late August to discuss ways of addressing the affordable housing needs of the community. The discussions included the usual reductions in System Development Charges to give developers incentives and tightening of rent control laws. Reducing the SDC charges is a difficult topic because somebody has to pay those costs and if the developers have reduced costs, then existing customers end up paying the tab in the form of higher utility bills.

In a follow-up article last week, it was reported that the City of Prineville had received applications for four new affordable housing developments. Two of those applications were for new RV parks. One of the RV park applications is to create a 100-space RV park on a 45-acre site and the other is for a 30-space site. Another application was for a 17-unit residential subdivision, and the last application is to convert an existing upper level downtown office space into a boarding house-type structure.

The 45-acre RV site is currently zoned for light industrial use, but is eligible for conversion to an RV park if it houses data center construction workers. This is because of a special temporary housing ordinance that the City Council had recently passed.

The affordable housing crisis will require creative solutions and changes, and passage of the special temporary housing ordinance by the City of Prineville seems to be helping, as evidenced by the new development applications. Meeting affordable housing needs will also require openness to other housing alternatives such as tiny homes, which will also require zoning exceptions, etc. So far this year, the planning department has approved 70 housing units for construction and the latest applications will make it over 200, which will be a strong year for Prineville. The latest applications are expected to be approved in October.

Housing Round-up

LOW

61140 Benham Rd., Bend, OR 97702

3 beds, 2 baths, 1,599 square feet, .34 acre lot | Built in 1935

$209,950

Listed by Cascade Sotheby's International Realty

MID

60986 Snowbrush Dr., Bend, OR 97702

3 beds, 2.50 baths, 2,323 square feet,

.11 acre lot | Built in 2005

$379,000

Listed by Duke Warner Realty

HIGH

19687 Sunshine Way, Bend, OR 97702

3 beds, 2 baths, 3,944 square feet,

.54 acre lot | Built in 2008

$880,000

Listed by Windermere Central Or. Real Estate

Photos and listing info from Central Oregon Multiple Listing Service

About The Author

Nick Nayne, Principal Broker

Principal Broker at The Broker Network Realty in Bend, OR. Over 12 years experience in Real Estate working with buyers, sellers and investment properties.

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