MADRAS, OR -- Madras continues to rebound from the recession: New businesses are coming in, unemployment is down and the economy shows overall improvement. But, Mayor Richard Ladeby believes the recovery has been stifled by a lack of adequate housing. A plan could help, "So, the hope, with reducing the System Development Charges (SDCs), we can get developers interested, coming and building for us." SDCs for residential development will temporarily be discounted based on a sliding scale for single and multi-family housing. Ladeby says decreasing the city's revenue per unit should be offset by a higher number of units constructed, "It’s a five-year plan to encourage more development. And, if we get more development, we’re going to get more taxes, more revenue. Right now, we’re staying flat and it’s hard for us to maintain what we’re doing. So, if we get some going, it’ll hopefully stimulate the economy."
The Mayor tells KBND News the ongoing housing shortage is holding the city back, "We’ve got a double-edged sword: we need more businesses in there but we don’t have the housing to house the employees. So, we’ve got to get both of them going so we can get more business up there in the industrial parks and more housing for all of our residents." And, Ladeby says, the good publicity the city gained from the 2017 eclipse is waning, "People who came for the eclipse, loved the city but, the problem is, we don’t have housing. I mean, we are short probably, roughly around 800 houses that we could build and fill. But, unfortunately, without the homes, people aren’t going to come to live. My previous job, people were commuting from Prineville and Redmond because they couldn’t find suitable housing in Madras; and it would be nice to keep those people local."