Grants Pass hosts public forum about its housing problems

GRANTS PASS, Ore. – The city of Grants Pass hosted a community forum about the city’s housing problems on December 5th.

The main issues covered during the forum were housing production, rent burden, and fair housing.

City Officials say Grants Pass is severely rent-burdened meaning the average person living in Grants Pass spends more than half of their income on rent.

The forum was held to hear community members’ concerns over the city’s current housing issues.

The main issues raised were the lack of homeless housing and affordable housing for working families.

“The city has a good idea of what the issues are, and I think they are working on it, the problem is there’s a lot of blowback from certain members of the community and so the city hasn’t been able to money forward as much as they’d like to,” said Grants Pass Resident, Julie Hartford. 

City Officials say some of the reasons for the housing issues they are facing are the lack of homes and the available homes that are too expensive for most people to buy or rent.

City Officials say feedback from this discussion will help shape the city’s housing strategy.

“A lot of what I was hearing tonight was really good for me, to solidify that the direction we’re already going in, our housing production strategy is on track. I heard some reiterations of some suggestions and some plans that we already have, so it’s very encouraging to hear,” said Amber Neeck, Housing, and Neighborhood Specialist for Grants Pass.

She says some of the solutions the city is looking to implement are insensitivity builders to build in Grants Pass, focusing on more middle housing like duplexes, and apartment housing to meet the needs of the community.

Neeck says another main focus for the city is finding a location for its navigation center, the city is still looking for a suitable location after it decided to pull out of its offer on the old Elks Lodge building after receiving some community backlash. Funds for purchasing a building need to be spent before June 2023.

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