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City of Grants Pass Looks For Solutions To Housing Shortage

The City of Grants Pass is working toward solutions to their housing shortage. The city is surveying the public to identify what barriers they face to live in Grants Pass. NewsWatch 12's Eliana Sheriff finds out the challenges residents and the city face.

Posted: Mar 13, 2018 11:11 PM
Updated: Mar 13, 2018 11:20 PM

GRANTS PASS, Ore.-- The City of Grants Pass is working toward solutions to their housing shortage.
The city is surveying the public to identify what barriers they face to live in Grants Pass.
ECONorthwest Consultant Beth Goodman says, "Grants Pass like a lot of other communities in Oregon is having trouble having multi-family housing built in part because there's not enough land zoned for it and in part because some of the regulations may create barriers to development of affordable housing."

City of Grants Pass Senior Planner Tom Schauer says, "There's been a shortage of rental housing and owner-occupied housing, the lack of supply is driving up the cost of housing. Rents aren't keeping up with housing prices."

Which is why they're looking into different housing types. And other short-term solutions.

Tom Schauer says, "We know is a significant issue is increasing the build able land supply with appropriate zoning to accommodate single family and multi family."

And it helps to hear from stakeholders.

Tom Schauer says, "I think it is important we hear from everyone like people who are building the housing and deal with the day to day issues and knowing what some of the barriers are."

Like Tony Alvarez, a local developer, he says he only turned into a developer after he realized there wasn't a lot to invest in because of the lack of stock-- so he decided to build.

Tony Alvarez says, "Besides the difficulty in finding lots to build and dealing with development costs, you have a lot people moving in, pushing rents up, and then people buying properties like myself increasing rent, and then a displacement of tenants."

The city and county amended the urban growth boundary in 2014, and since then the city has been working to rezone those areas to make them available for housing.

The city says in addition to rezoning land- they will also be looking at other code amendments that can make the permitting process more efficient.

The city is conducting a housing survey. Find it HERE.

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