MADRAS, OR -- Madras continues to grow, but the city lacks affordable housing. Officials hope a three-pronged approach will provide enough incentive for builders to develop more inventory.
Public Works Director Jeff Hurd says one part of the plan is create a Housing Urban Renewal District (HURD) that will lower costs and barriers for new housing by redistributing tax dollars where they're needed, "The urban renewal district is a very complex thing. But, for the most part, picture it taking all the district's taxes and then we use it; and then at the end, they're going to get more back." Hurd says other taxing districts would benefit later by increased property values. "It's a redistribution. The city ends up collecting all the taxes that those other taxing districts would get, and then we use that to fund building infrastructure."
City Council also recently approved a plan to discount System Development Charges (SDCs) based on a sliding scale for single- and multi-family housing. And, Hurd says, they're looking at ways to reinstate expired building permits for subdivisions that were previously approved, "Everybody's big fear is, subdivision expires; and that just opens the door for all new requirements, right? We're trying to message: we're not going to do that." He tells KBND News, "We're going to do whatever we can to try and help you get through the process so we can re-up your land use decision so you can go ahead and move forward with these ones that have expired. And, oh by the way, we'll have this Housing Urban Renewal District that will help. And, oh by the way, we're doing an SDC reduction to try and get you to build homes. Three things at once we're really trying to throw out there to incentivize developers to come to town."
Hurd hopes that over the next five years, these ideas help Madras get past its serious housing shortage.