Identified by the state as a city with 'severely rent burdened' households, Newberg continues to seek answers

As it does every year, the city of Newberg was identified by the state as a community with severely rent-burdened households, and the city will return a report to the state by early February on causes, barriers and possible solutions for rent burdened households.

Community Development Director Doug Rux said this was part of the Oregon House Bill 4006, which states that cities and towns where more than 25 percent of renter households pay more than 50 percent of their monthly income to rent are considered rent burdened. The designation applies to any community with a population of 10,000 or more.

"We did a forum and invited people to talk to us about how we could address the issue of rent burdened households," he said.

That forum was held Dec. 18 and there was a "lively discussion for a couple of hours," he added.

"We posed some questions for possible solutions or causes," Rux said. "We talked about causes and consequences, barriers and possible solutions to reduce the rent burden on households."

Twenty-eight percent of renters in Newberg are paying more than half their monthly income on rent, the report showed.

The city's report will be filed with the state's Housing and Community Services Department.

According to the HCSD website, the survey was created by the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development and the Oregon Housing and Community Services Department after first being developed by the Institute for Policy Research and Engagement in the School of Planning, Public Policy and Management at the University of Oregon.

"One of the requirements of House Bill 4006 is the competition of a survey," the introduction to the survey states. "Cities with a population larger than 10,000 that are 'severely rent burdened' (meaning that more than 25 percent of the city's households are paying more than 50 percent of their income on rent) must completed the survey.

All other cities are welcome and encouraged to complete the survey as it will give the state more complete information on the measures cities are adopting to meet the needs."

Rux couldn't say whether the state then provides feedback to Newberg and other participating cities based on the survey information.

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