Klamath Falls, Ore. – Klamath Falls is exploring ways to reduce ‘rent burden’ as part of a statewide effort to improve access to affordable housing.
About one out of every three households in Klamath Falls are considered ‘severely rent burdened’.
A group of about 20 people met Tuesday night at the Ross Ragland Theater to discuss the issue.
Kim Elliott is with the Klamath Rental Owners Association. “The main problem is the lack of housing. And when you have a short supply, prices go high.”
Elliott believes renters upgrading to newer construction would free up lower income housing. “The used housing will then be more reasonably priced, and it all trickles down.”
Elliott is concerned that state intervention could reduce local control. “I think the ultimate goal at the state level is to institute rent control.”
Klamath Falls City Manager Nathan Cherpeski pointed out that additional housing could also have other benefits.
Cherpeski believes development of areas such as the ‘Balsiger block’ with apartments could help set the stage for expansion of Oregon Tech, and Kingsley Field.
If you spend more than half of your monthly income on housing, you’re considered ‘severely rent burdened’ in Oregon.
Oregon House Bill 4006 requires all Oregon communities with a population of 10,000 or more where a quarter of the population meets that criteria to hold annual meetings to address the problem.
KOTI-TV NBC2 reporter Lyle Ahrens moved from Nebraska to Klamath Falls in the late 1970’s. He instantly fell in love with the mountains, the trees and the rivers, and never once regretted the move.Lyle’s job history is quite colorful.
He’s managed a pizza parlor; he’s been a bartender, and a “kiwifruit grader” at an organic orchard in New Zealand. A Klamath Falls radio station hired Lyle in the mid 90’s as a news writer and commercial producer. In 2004, Lyle joined the KOTI/KOBI news operation.Lyle notes with pride that he has a big responsibility presenting the Klamath Basin to a wide and varied audience.
“The on-going water crisis has underscored the fact that the people and the issues in the Klamath Basin are every bit as diverse as the terrain. Winning and keeping the trust of the viewers, as well as the newsmakers, is something I strive for with each story”.
When he’s not busy reporting the news, Lyle enjoys astronomy, playing guitar, fixing old radios and listening to anything by Sheryl Crow.