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Bend group hears suggestions to lower rents

One-quarter of Bend residents are considered severely rent burdened, which means they spend more than 50 percent of their income on housing.

Posted: Dec 13, 2018 10:56 AM

BEND, Ore. (AP) -- A panel looking at ways to make Bend more affordable has heard ideas ranging from encouraging the building of smaller homes, removing barriers for new construction and discouraging tourism.

The Bulletin reports that the city's affordable housing advisory committee held a public hearing Wednesday for residents to discuss causes and solutions to rent burden, the term for spending more than 30 percent of income on housing costs each month.

One-quarter of Bend residents are considered severely rent burdened, which means they spend more than 50 percent of their income on housing.

One-time Bend City Council candidate Wade Fagen, who owns a tree-removal company, said tourism is to blame for Bend's housing crisis. Small houses and apartments built over garages aren't the answer, he said, but banning short-term rentals could help.

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