Housing has Challengers Everywhere

A few thoughts as I’m in Portland this week for a quasi-real estate conference.

I said on Twitter

Had an interesting conversation with my Lyft driver this morning.

Topics he raised:

– unsustainable housing market
– gentrification
– rental properties
– unsat infrastructure
– rising population/too few housing options
– no good solutions.

We covered a lot in 19 minutes.

  • I felt bad for the taxi drivers. When I was there, the taxi island saw no customers. The ridesharing island at the Portland Airport had a constant stream of Lyft, Uber, Wingz, etc customers.
Ride share vs taxi

Affordable Housing has opponents. Read this thread. Three tweets in particular

  • “Local land use policies and development approval processes impact the supply of developable land, the number of units that can be developed on available sites, and the cost of developing new housing.”
  • “Zoning policies that limit residential development constrain the supply of land potentially suitable for redevelopment. Minimum lot sizes, setback requirements and maximum densities prevent developments that make more intensive use of the land.”
  • “HERE IT IS! “Community resistance to change leads to land use policies that prioritize preserving existing single-family neighborhoods over the development of new affordable housing.””
    • Bolding is mine. I received an email last night seeking advice/guidance on how to work to get R2 zoning in an adjacent neighborhood/street in Albemarle County rezoned to single family. R2=more and more affordable housing.
      • I’m going to write about this more soon.

Related Daily Progress story

Report: Housing costs burdening many Charlottesville residents. Read the whole thing

Hundreds of Charlottesville households earning less than half of the area’s median income are severely cost-burdened, spending more than half of their income on housing costs, according to a long-awaited housing needs assessment.

The 114-page report compiled by Partners for Economic Solutions says there is a need for about 3,300 new affordable rental housing units to alleviate costs burdens, replace the city’s aging public housing stock and shelter homeless families and individuals.

Related –

‘My Generation Is Never Going to Have That’ 

(bolding mine)

Predictably, the campaign has provoked a fierce backlash from homeowners, many of them baby boomers who arrived in the 1960s and ’70s. They’ve sued to block the proposed “up-zones” to their neighborhoods, which, they warn, will kill the very “character” that makes Seattle’s housing so charming to newcomers in the first place. But to Lubarsky, that cherished neighborhood character was always false advertising, given how few people can actually afford it. “My generation is never going to have that,” he says, gesturing to a tricked-out Craftsman with a tidy yard and paved driveway. “There are too many of us to live like that.”


We need to do something. More people are being made every day.

United States Population trend & projections


I’m going to revisit my story from two years ago discussing bike/ped infrastructure.

Riding a bicycle for transportation purposes in Portland is normal, which itself is a little bit weird. People ride bicycles. and it’s normal.


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