Housing options at all levels need to rise to a top priority for the Board of Commissioners. I hear from people on a daily basis who are frustrated with the lack of available housing, not only for low income people but for working families across the affordability spectrum. There are long waiting lists or high rents and sales prices that force them to move out of the community in which they work. Some are commuting over 30 miles from their homes for work, medical care or shopping. This is a strain on personal finances and barrier to economic opportunity.
Skyrocketing housing prices and rental rates have created a widespread housing crisis in Oregon, hitting Lane County especially hard. Without housing options at every income level, we fail to attract and retain families – and that means we are failing to retain potential small business owners, the employees who work for them and customers who buy from them. We are undermining the two most important assets that keep our communities thriving: working families and small businesses.
I have spent my professional career creating new housing opportunities for those in our community, allowing families to continue to work and raise their families in Lane County. The state is looking at what I’m doing here in Lane County and changing statewide housing models based on what I have achieved. I will work hard as Commissioner to continue to expand housing access and affordability by making it one of my top priorities and advancing new and unique ideas that allow people to live and work in the same neighborhoods. I want to work on opportunities within Lane County to advance new housing concept ideas, innovative funding collaborations and make needed improvements to existing properties.