As a Bend City Planner, I'm keenly aware of COVID-19's impacts to increase demand on our housing market that has raised costs for both renters and homebuyers. In the last year, the median home price increased by over 35%. We hear from our friends and neighbors about their rejected housing offer, increased rent or the house that sold in three days to a cash offer for significantly over the asking price. My hope is that we prioritize housing options for people living and working in our community in balance with our own personal interests.
What can we do to help our community?
It would help working-class Bendites get into our housing market if home sellers accepted offers that require a loan instead of an all-cash offer. I encourage you to accept the offer from the first-time homebuyer or the person who submits a letter highlighting their commitment to this community over someone making an "investment property" purchase.
We can be compassionate landlords so people can continue to live here investing in our community or saving toward a down payment. Please rent your home for a reasonable price versus the maximum rent you possibly can.
Please support and advocate for (versus protest against) new residential development, especially of units that will be affordable at various income levels, to help ease pressure on our housing market.
Bend will continue to grow and change as it always has, but we can continue to put our community's interest ahead of our own.
— Allison Platt is a senior planner with the City of Bend and works on a variety of issues such as housing, growth and transportation planning.