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Too Many People, Not Enough Homes: Oregon's Affordable Housing Crisis

An apartment building.
George Becker
George Becker

This week on Oregon On The Record, we discussed the daunting challenge, and some small but important solutions to Oregon's affordable housing crisis.

Oregon, like its neighboring states throughout the west, suffers from a perfect storm of population growth and a lack of housing supply. In the past few decades, more and more people moved to the state, and construction never kept pace.

Today, residents are in a tiered housing community, with one level who has tremendous house wealth, another level fighting to find any kind of reasonable home prices, and another level out of the market entirely and out on the streets.

It’s taken years for the current situation to foment, and it will take time to change it.

Slowly, but steadily however, there have emerged programs and out-of-the-box thinking that are helping make a dent in this crisis. From matching home owners with extra room to people who need a place to live, to revolutionary new ways to build cheap housing, the shifting zoning policies so that more housing can expand, its all-hands-on deck for both the public sector, nonprofit and private sector.

On this edition of Oregon On The Record, we heard from city leaders and staffers, nonprofits and institutions that are working together to wring out as much housing as possible in our community.

Experts we spoke with include: Mayor Sean VanGordon of the City of Springfield; Tess Fields, of Home Share Oregon; Jacob Fox of Homes for Good, Laura Hammond from the City of Eugene, and Judith Sheine from the U of O and the Tallwood Design Institute.

Links from the show are below:

City of Springfield

Home Share Oregon

Homes For Good

Tallwood Design Institute

City of Eugene

Michael Dunne is the host of KLCC's public affairs show Oregon On The Record. He also hosts the business-focused podcast, Oregon Rainmakers. Do you have a suggestion for a guest or topic? Email Michael at mdunne@klcc.org.