SALEM, OR -- The Legislature is expected to try again this session to come up with ways to increase affordable housing inventories. Last year, State Representative Knute Buehler (R-Bend) was on the housing committee that considers such bills. But, he was dropped before the start of the 2017 session.
Buehler says Democrats want to solve the problem through rent controls. But, he doesn't believe that will work. "We have a big affordable housing crisis in Oregon, but the solution is not more regulation; the solution is creating more housing supply. And these types of things just decrease supply and decrease incentives for builders to put in more housing." Buehler adds, "Over 93% of economists think rent control is harmful just to the people that you'd expect it'd be helpful, because it decreases the supply of housing, decreases the quality. It really puts tenants against landlords, and tenant against tenant. It just is really a bad policy."
He would rather see lawmakers focus on stimulating the construction of more affordable housing without raising costs. He would like to relax some building restrictions and encourage cities to lower property taxes and fees.