Portland Worries About Homelessness, While Metro Makes Housing Less Affordable

CascadeNewLogoBy John A. Charles, Jr.

The Portland City Council has decided to allocate $20 million to solve a perceived crisis with “homelessness” and another $67 million to subsidize “affordable housing.”

As usual with Portland spending, these numbers were pulled out of thin air; they have no connection to an actual strategy. If the Council had done some thinking, it might have realized that Portland’s housing crisis is the result of many factors, including ongoing government policies that are making things worse.

First and foremost is excessive government regulation. Any private investor trying to build more housing faces a gauntlet of barriers, including planning requirements, inspections, density mandates, parking restrictions, environmental overlays, and punitive fees. Many of these interventions serve no purpose other than to ensure that top-down mandates of planners replace market preferences. All of them impose delays and add costs to construction.

To make matters worse, Metro is recommending that no new land be added to the regional Urban Growth Boundary. When this recommendation is finalized next month, it will ensure that the already-high price of buildable land continues to increase.

Government is not the sole cause of the housing crisis; poor decision-making also causes many individuals to become homeless. But deliberately creating a shortage of buildable land through government regulation guarantees that the affordable housing crisis will get worse.

John A. Charles, Jr. is President and CEO at Cascade Policy Institute, Oregon’s free market public policy research organization.



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Posted by at 10:00 | Posted in Economy, Government Regulation, Housing, Land Use Laws, Metro, Portland, Portland Politics | Tagged , , , , | 9 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • raven6

    Portland & affordable housing are an oxymoron. To grasp what Portland will look like in 10-20- years look at the east german concrete apartments. Sustainable development is code for Communism.

  • guess who

    Ah yes maybe Porlandia should join Eugene and declare a crises and get Kate Brown our elected sec. of state to give them money to throw down the newest hole.

  • I’m finally getting 111 Dollars an h r,….It’s time to take some action and you can join it too.It is simple,dedicated and easy way to get rich.Three weeks from now you will wish you have started today….

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    • Dick Winningstad

      Hey moderators, how about filtering out Jessica and her ilk?

      • Done

        • Dick Winningstad

          Thank you.

  • Bob Clark

    I think San Francisco discovered several decades back that you can’t really buy your way out of the homelessness issue. Portlunia’s telegraph machine must be on the fritz. Portlunia City Hall likes to spin out the warm and fuzzys such as renewal of its previous “Ten Year Plan to End Homelessness,” first issued back in the year 2004. How’s that plan working out? The City is so good at ending homelessness, it just called an emergency regarding homelessness.

    • Upper Voter

      Write on!

  • LoserJoe

    I love getting my housing for free. I just don’t like taking out the trash. Can someone help???

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