ASHLAND, Ore. – Oregon has recently approved the City of Ashland’s Housing Production Strategy, marking a first for the state when it comes to the homeless crisis.
“Although the city of Ashland has had a long history of adopting housing policies, we’re still facing unmet housing needs,” said Ashland community development director Brandon Goldman.
House Bill 2001 was passed by the Oregon legislature earlier this year. It requires cities with a population higher than 10 thousand people to develop an eight-year housing strategy plan aimed at providing more affordable housing.
“It really was encouraging local governments to take proactive steps to address housing affordability and availability.”
Goldman says this plan focuses heavily on addressing the housing crisis for low and middle income households.
“One of the key strategies identified through the public process was looking at how do we preserve existing affordable housing, such as people that are living in manufactured home parks.”
Goldman says the city is looking into a new ordinance that will designate manufactured home parks as a housing type, discouraging developers from replacing it with something else.
Goldman says over the next 20 years, the city will need around 900 new residential units.
He says with this plan, changes will gradually happen to try and meet that need.
“The plan developed looks at what are we going to be investigating over the next eight years.”
One of those changes is the Construction Excise Tax, which is expected to roll out in 2025.
Goldman says this tax would be used to provide funding for the development of affordable housing.
“This has been done in other communities such as Medford,” he explained. “It’s not new within our region but something Ashland has not yet gone through the process of evaluating and determining what impact that might have.”
The City plans to start rolling out the first phase of this plan as early as next year.
Many other cities are in the process of completing their own housing production strategy, including Medford and Grants Pass.
Approvals for those strategies are expected to come in the near future.
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