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Portland rent

edited September 2015
is nuts.

Kinda thought the whole "death of Portland" thing was an exaggeration, but now I know 3 unconnected people who are being evicted because the houses they rent are being sold, and 2 friends had their jobs displaced because of the whole Town Storage thing. This is just over the course of the last few weeks. I was browsing around Zillow this morning and maybe I am mis-remembering but it seems like rent has gone up hundreds of dollars since I looked just a few months ago. Weird to watch this happen. The creative community seems crazy over saturated too because of the fairly uniform interests the people moving here have and it is going to be interesting to see what happens as hundreds of people fight for the same 35-45k jobs just to find they can't save anything and are barely paying rent. It's weird. There seem to be a few smart people out there trying to do something about it, but does it even matter? Seems sorta inevitable. Is there any hope? Can anything really be done? Seems like Seattle and San Francisco tried to deal with the same problems and pretty much failed.


  • edited September 2015
    Interestingly American Property Management, who is often spoken of as the slum lords of Portland, has not really raised their rents at all. Still many affordable places through them. I've had one for a while and it has actually been pretty good.
  • edited September 2015
    Oregon's laws kinda suck around affordable housing and eviction laws, and unless sensible policies are enacted/changed really soon, I don't see a whole lot of hope.

    Even if the city of Portland elected somebody more progressive/to the left of Hales, we're still somewhat hamstrung by the state ban on inclusionary zoning, which wasn't repealed by the last legislature because the housing/development lobby is too strong. It's quite a depressing situation.

    Lots of people moving out past 82nd now.

    Spokane is the new frontier, perhaps?
  • edited September 2015
    Huh, here's something happening today:

    Doesn't seem that helpful except for making notice periods longer for rent hikes and evictions. Can't actually address rent costs.
  • Ugh, Spokane
  • Wasn't the plan to move to Newberg?
  • Some artist buds are engaged in the Portland Renters Assembly. A few years ago, Portland had a condo boom and people made hundreds of Ks flipping condos. Much of it was subsidized by tax exemptions and City subsidies in the Pearl and SOWA. Excess low cost condos for rent depressed apartment rents for several years. That pigeon is home to roost as the current situation.
  • Does anyone know if there's a program through the city whereby owners can get subsidized to offer lower rent? I don't mean section 8 - I mean something for people who own maybe one rental or something, not major developers/real estate tycoons.

  • That's a smart idea someone should present at a city council meeting.
  • edited September 2015
    What about all the weed tax? Where's that going? Could that be used to subsidize lower rents? I feel like those headlines would go over great politically here. "Buy weed and keep your rent low".
  • I think generally it's a bad idea to tie taxes to specific programs. Also, I doubt weed is bringing in very much money (are there numbers on this?).
  • Q: How much money will marijuana bring in taxes?
    A: The OLCC estimates $10.7 million in revenue for the 2015-2017 biennium.

    Q: Where will the tax money go?
    A: Measure 91 provides distribution of revenue after costs to the following:
    40 percent to Common School Fund
    20 percent to Mental Health Alcoholism and Drug Services
    15 percent to State Police
    10 percent to Cities for enforcement of the measure
    10 percent to Counties for enforcement of the measure
    5 percent to Oregon Health Authority for alcohol and drug abuse prevention

  • Oh, nice work UBS2011!

    That all seems like pretty legit ways of spending weed money.

    But I bet that the number is less than their estimate.
  • edited September 2015
    I don't know. It sounds like places that have legalized marijuana are generally doing better than expected. I don't know the specifics of our system though.
  • I wouldn't say that I "know" anything, just offering to make a bet. :)
  • Spokane is actually kind of cool.
  • I've only been once, in 1998, so I should probably retract that.
  • here is one vote for moving to random little towns you never considered or even heard about in your life! It can be fun
  • I agree! Nightlife usually not so hot, though.
  • edited September 2015
    The rent situation here in Portland is truly dire. For example - In 2013 I was paying $836 for my loft (including all utilities except internet), with modest rental hikes of approx $40 every two years or so, then in 2014 they raised it to $1100. I'm leaving after 8 yrs in the building and they are going to ask (and I'm sure, get) almost $1500! For a place with walls made of cardboard, a million holes in the ceiling and NO HEAT. No dis to the OS, it has been amazing, but it is pretty janky -like "electrical outlets only in one corner of the space" janky. Meanwhile my dude just signed the papers on a nice (albeit 4th floor walkup) one bedroom in Queens for $1300.

    I can't imagine how gnarly it is to experience this rental hikexplosion as someone who has kids/has to pay childcare/lived here all their lives/doesn't have a cushy middle-class job.

    it is insane
  • Ed are you moving to Queens??

    Also CONGRATULATIONS on your nuptuials!!!
  • omg so true
    what a joyful occasion
  • From 2006 - 2014 I paid $850 for a whole house. 2bdrm upstairs, 2 could have been bdrm downstairs, 2 bathrooms.
  • Basketball kid was reflected in that price, though.
  • Thanks for the kind wishes!

    indeed I am moving to queens, I'm calling it my "sojourn in the wilderness" because hopefully/probably it will only be for 8 months and then we'll return to the pnw for good. I won't let my dude (so funny, I don't think I've typed "my husband" until just now, though I've said it aloud a handful of times) leave tenure track so compromises must be made...funny tho because I lived in nyc during the "sketchy but rad as hell" years, so I now view nyc with a leery eye. Looking forward to living in a profoundly uncool part of new york, mostly hiding out, going "into the city" to lurk around the Met, etc. I will be able to visit you guys! omg!

    as for rents, yeah, before the oak I lived in an enormous 5 bedroom house, full basement, double living rooms, etc, just off MLK + Alberta on a lovely mellow street. Rent was $1600.
  • Never forget basketball kid. I saw him at Fred Meyer not too long ago.
  • Portland seems to hate anything that isn't a craftsman?

    I get bothered by the anti-density people who yell about apartments and condos.
  • edited September 2015
    I think if you asked a lot of those people they would say they hate sprawl as well. It's like they want Portland to somehow be this perfect insular paradise that also nobody ever moves to so they never have to build new housing. The rent and eviction stuff does really suck though, and I do get people who are angry because they are losing their homes because of condos going in. Especially when those condos are twice as expensive as what they were paying.
  • I am all about density, if I can afford it. I definitely dislike sprawl. Most of what I see going up is not in my price range though, and I am pretty middle class these days. I doubt I can afford the places coming in on Vancouver or Burnside, or the ones in my hood off NE 28th for that matter. All I want is to be able to do is also enjoy the cool I helped make for all the newcomers. Rent is stupid high right now, and apartment scarcity is frightening. I don't want Portland to be an insular paradise, I just want it to be livable.
  • Sprawl is the worst. I guess I am just trying to keep some perspective and most major metropolitan areas are more expensive than Portland to live in, and although Portland isn't top tier of major populated cities yet, I don't doubt that it will be in the near future and that just kinda means this stuff is going to happen to some degree. I am not saying that Portland shouldn't do something to try and stem the tide though because right now the transition is way to harsh and happening way too quickly.


  • For sure. It's one of those things where conservatives should be behind it, because eliminating homelessness would probably help the GDP.
  • edited September 2015
    Density is great; displacement isn't. They are different yet deeply intertwined. Europe does it a bit better. Although London's getting just as fucked as SF and even worse, because they DID have solid social housing in place for a long time; lots of which is now getting sold off and demolished for market-rate private apartments and condos. It's very complex.

    Being in Berlin right now and talking to people, it's still affordable here and there's loads of squats and cheap artist housing, but there's lots of development happening here too.

    It's also interesting that most of Portland's new developments aren't condos; they're rental apartments. Except in the Pearl.
    "It wasn't too long ago that condominiums were developer's product of choice. But today, it's all about rentals. Between Millennials who can't borrow or don't want to be tied down and baby boomers who want to retire in the central city, the urban apartment market is hot."

    Also this just happened:
  • This article in WWeek reads mostly like an apologetics piece for capitalism and development (seems like they basically oppose any reasonable policy requiring affordable housing), but there's also some interesting stuff in here, especially the amount of affordable housing built in Portland versus other big cities (we still need thousands more units):
  • This is touchy for me. My lease is up in twoish months and I am one of maybe 5 renters in the building left over from the new owner's pogrom/remodeling. My rent went up, but not too bad. My gf will also have a room open, but it seems a bit soon to move in (also me=chicken introvert who has lived mostly alone for... a decade). I'm waiting any day to see a notice with either a no-fault eviction or a 25% increase...
  • It's sad to see lots of people coming through my Internets asking for help finding a new place to rent.
  • Or rather, it's just that the tone has changed. People have always posted, looking for a new spot, but now the posts seem more desperate.
  • edited September 2015
    I feel like I should promote my landlords. I mentioned they are through American Property Management, but the properties through APM are largely setup through some sort of franchising like system. There are a ton of bad landlords through them I hear, but a few good ones also. Mine, Peg and Larry, have been great, and I have never had trouble getting things fixed, and my rent hikes have been modest and APM still has a lot of real cheap places. Peg drove me around all day showing me places she manages when I contacted her initially, although I know they have had some health issues recently so you may not get that treatment. Feel free to pass their info on. If anyone you know actually does want to contact them, I would appreciate them mentioning me as a referral because it gets me a $100 off my rent, but no biggie if they don't.

    From their card:
    Peg and Larry McCool
    (503) 233-0218
  • My BFF is getting booted from her apartment on 20th and Hawthorne, where she was paying $650 for a SPACIOUS 1 bedroom. It was an amazing deal while it lasted. Now they're renovating the whole old complex.

    I did a quick craigslist search for places in my neighborhood and it freaks me out to see what's available and at what price. I literally get a fight-or-flight anxiety response when I think about my Portland loved ones trying to figure out housing today.

    In my final year of undergrad I took a "business and art" class, which was one of the coolest classes ever. It was co-taught by the dean of the business school and the chair of the art department and for our final project we had to come up with a development plan for downtown Winston-Salem (where I went to school) to figure out a way to balance the needs of "creatives" (in those days that term applied mainly to low-income artists) and corporate developers. I can't remember what my group came up with.

    What's the solution, everyone? Tell me.

  • I think the solution would lie in socialism and strong housing regulations/policies rather than unregulated capitalism. But this is not my field of expertise.
  • My friend just moved to Copenhagen and they expect you to put down six months (around $18,000) rent up front. SO THERE'S THAT.
  • Also talking to friends in Berlin, apparently the rentals never come with their own lighting or kitchen stuff. You have to get that stuff yourself. Like, fridge and all lights and sometimes even kitchen cabinets?! But once you're in a contract (which takes a long time), then you're LOCKED IN at your rate for a very long time. People tend to stay in the same place for a while once they have a contract. I don't know all the ins and outs.
  • We just got back from Copenhagen and totally fell in love with it. I'd pay that much to be there for a little while.
  • I learned the hard way in France that Europeans weirdly buy their own door locks? Like, the actual lock mechanisms?? So when they rent a new place, they have the whole locking mechanism removed out of their apartment door (the locks are like these huge bars that fit inside the door and go into holes in the ceiling and floor) and then have them re-installed in the new apartment!

    I got locked out of the craigslist apartment I was staying in, and had a locksmith break in. then he put a new lock on the door. I felt chuffed about this--doing this whole transaction in French and without a phone or internet, I mean--until the girl whose apartment it was FREAKED OUT about how that lock was expensive and she'd had it only for one year etc. etc. It took me so long to even understand what she was talking about--I kept saying "the door is fine!" because I figured I must not be understanding her correctly when she kept asking about the lock. Then I googled it and discovered tons of message boards where Americans were writing about how weird Europeans are about their locks.

    What the fuck even is that, get a life you damn French frogs

  • These motherfuckers SMOKE. Like CIGGIES. Like ALL THE TIME. #berliners
  • Damn, don't they know how cool vaping is?
  • edited September 2015
    I have never been to Europe but I hear "I should go" and it will "change me"
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