by Thanh Nguyen UNST399U
The Portland housing rate is rapidly increased for renters: “During the third quarter of 2015, Portland saw 15.4 percent rent hikes” according to Andrew Theen of the Oregonian. Three of the causes to the raise in housing costs are from developers’ strategy, migrants from other states, and banned inclusionary zoning. First, condos have better selling prices and less maintenance comparing to apartments, so developers built more condos and took rental units out from the market. A data from real-estate brokerage Marcus & Millichap shows that in 2014 “the number of apartments available for rent at any given time hit a record low of 2.8 percent.” Most of people in Portland still need to rent houses, but in 2014 only about 4,413 construction for rental units are built to supply for the addition of 30,500 jobs. This shortage in rental units is the big cause for the raising cost in renting. Second, Portland now is the 10th-highest rate of domestic migration out of the 50 largest urban areas by the Census Bureau estimated and almost 50% of the growth is from domestic migrant. Portland welcomes people all around the world, but the fast increase in population forces the increase in housing demands which leads to the raise in renting costs. Third, Oregon and Texas are the only two states that bans cities from mandating inclusion zoning- a policy for developers to make a specific percentage of all developed areas to poor and working class people. The ban of the inclusionary zoning with the strategy of developed condos for benefits totally go against the dramatic increase in Portland population.
Out of the three main reasons for raising housing prices, the increase in population is the one that could not change because less likely politicians can stop people from having kids or moving to Portland. That is too involved to the freedom in America. However, the politicians can requires developers to slow down their benefits regarding to the huge renting expenses of poor and working classes by changing Portland zoning code, so that any new constructions will have more renting units for low to moderate income people.
As a renter, we can protect ourselves by knowing our rights. Therefore, please check out the two links below to learn more.