Katy Eymann endorses the 2018 Housing Action Plan and will be the LEADER we need to solve the Housing problem in Coos County. Katy knows the determining factors in whether a community solves its problems are creativity, collaboration, and commitment.
“Too many county households are not being well served by housing choices that offer too little quality for too much money.” – Coos Co. Housing Analysis and Action Plan, 2018
The problem is NOT affordable Housing, It is the lack of quality Housing and declining investment in houses that are not in desirable areas
“Coos County is now where 70% of Pennsylvania was 40 years ago. Pennsylvania failed to do anything appropriate about it. Same with 90% of Michigan, 70% of Ohio, 60% of Indiana, more than half of Wisconsin, and all but a small portion of Iowa. If Coos County wants a different future, it will have to spend, invent, and get busy doing almost nothing it’s used to doing. It’s going to have to find and use muscles it has but which have not been exercised in a long time.” – Housing Analysis and Action Plan for Coos County, Oregon
If the County could find a way to dedicate just 3% of the budget to a housing trust fund it would provide almost $700K that could be used to leverage a multitude of workforce housing developments. 3% is a big ask, but the need is big and subsidy is required to make workforce housing available. But even 1% would provide an annual infusion of $230,000 into an HTF and would be a good start. Alternatively, the county could explore opportunities for a new sales tax or gas tax option or a tax on vacation rentals that would be fully appropriated to funding workforce housing for the countywide community. Beyond any of these tax options, the county should consider a bond that is dedicated to housing and community development projects. Ultimately this is about reinvestment in the Coos County community; a need that is long overdue.
Katy investigated affordable housing built by employers at Bandon Dunes Resort. Cutting red tape where necessary to make these projects happen, and then set limits on rent to guarantee that they remain affordable. New types of housing, like small houses, cut down on the cost of utilities.
An area where the county could work with employers like Bandon Dunes and cut red tape to assist in creating new affordable housing would be the Bandon donut. The County should follow the plan laid out by the Gorse Action Group and assist by adopting special code provisions that would address gorse eradication. Similar in format to the Bandon Dunes master plan and code provisions currently residing in the Coos County Comprehensive Plan and Development Code.
Coos County and the incorporated cities have many arrows in their quivers, beyond the necessary funding commitments, that must be aimed at the affordable housing problem. Land use regulation and zoning, permitting fees, service development charges (SDCs)… these all sound overwhelming to a homebuilder that is seasoned let alone one that is looking to build a house for the first time. But these jurisdictional requirements can be administered as incentives for the development of new workforce housing throughout the county.
And then there is land; city-owned land, county-owned land, land that is owned by the school district or other public districts and properties that have been acquired as a result of tax foreclosures and sit in limbo – these offer opportunities for future housing development.
The estimated 2000 out-of-town workers is a significant workforce – it is equal to fully half the total workforce for North Bend. JCEP seeks to make a lot of profit and Coos County should share in the wealth it creates. JCEP should not be allowed to harm our housing market by
- building temporary housing that is useless
- many of its workers competing in the rental market, driving rent prices up and locals out.
If the Project goes forward, Katy will work hard to ensure that:
- Jordan Cove LNG, signs a contract requiring up to 20% of the workforce housing be built for permanent occupation and dedicated back to the county or sold on the private market to households with incomes at or below 100% of area median income.
- In no case should fewer than 150 housing units be made available for permanent residents – 75% ownership opportunities and 25% rental opportunities. (The estimates for a permanent workforce of 180 support the need for permanent housing.)