A reader named Krista recently wrote to the Source Weekly about Senate Bill 1533. She wondered whether the bill really accomplishes anything in terms of helping create affordable housing, and expressed concerns about the bill's definition of affordable housing:
"Affordable housing" means housing that is affordable to households with incomes equal to or higher than 80 percent of the median family income for the county in which the housing is built."
This is actually a very good point because currently, 80 percent of the median income for Deschutes County is $33,450 for a single-person household and $38,200 for a two-person household. This bill does little to help a single person working full time for minimum wage and earning $21,000 per year. Most low income programs, such as HUD, typically use 60 percent of median family income as opposed to the 80 percent cited in SB 1533.
Further research on this bill shows it only applies to projects of 20 or more units, requiring that these new housing developments offer a portion of their new units at "affordable" levels for either purchase or rent. The bill's goal was to encourage affordable housing and to create more equitable neighborhoods, but it appears to not have accomplished much by excluding those who most need assistance. Furthermore, the 20-unit requirement effectively excludes most building projects, particularly those in rural areas such as Central Oregon, which are in desperate need of affordable housing.
Good question, Krista! Thank you for bringing this to our attention.
19807 Grassland Ct., Bend, OR 97702
3 beds, 2 baths, 1,032 square feet,
.14 acre lot | Built in 2002
Listed by Home Smart Central Realty
63257 NW Newhall Pl., Bend, OR 97703
3 beds, 2 baths, 1,800 square feet,
.17 acre lot | Built in 2016
Listed by New Home Star Oregon, LLC
64030 NW OB Riley Rd., Bend, OR 97701
7 beds, 7 baths, 9,169 square feet,
.5.47 acre lot | Built in 1992
Listed by Becky Breeze & Company
Photos and listing info from Central Oregon Multiple Listing Service