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Plus, eliminating single-family zoning not likely to increase affordability and homeless count shows signs of increasing

CONTRIBUTED - DHM Research founding partner Adam DavisMost Oregonians have doubts about millennials and baby boomers, according to a new DHM Research survey.

According to the April survey, 61 percent of respondents agree that millennials feel "entitled and expect a trophy for everything." And an even larger 80 percent agree they are "overly obsessed with technology and social media." And they are evenly split over whether millennials "will make things better in the country." Forty-eight percent believe they are "empathetic and guided by principals," however.

At the same time, 55 percent of respondents agree baby boomers are "responsible for the problems we have today" and 36 percent agree they are "a drain on the nation's resources and burden for future generations." At the same time, 63 percent agree they are "deserving of respect for their values as a generation."

DHM Research founding partner Adam Davis discussed some of the finds at a City Club of Portland forum on age-friendly communities on Friday, May 31, saying, "It will take the generations working together as we all age to have age-friendly communities, so there is a need to rise above these attitudes about each other, and recognize the good in each other."

Rezoning plan not affordability answer

At least one affordable housing developer does not believe eliminating single-family zoning will necessarily increase the supply of lower-priced homes.

The 2019 Oregon Legislature is considering HB 2001, which would require that smaller multifamily housing projects be allowed in all neighborhoods in all larger cities. It is similar to the most recent recommendation of the Residential Infill Project headed to the City Council.

But Aruna Doddapneni, a project supervisor for the nonprofit BRIDGE affordable housing organization, says most developers could choose to build luxury fourplexes that few Portlanders could afford.

"Without regulation, that could increase housing availability but not affordability," Doddapneni said during the 2019 economic forecast presented by Portland State University's Northwest Economic Research Center on May 30.

Homeless numbers predicted to increase

Although Multnomah County has not yet released its most recent homeless count, surveys in adjacent counties suggest the number is likely to be higher than the last one.

Clark County said its federally mandated homeless Point-in-Time survey showed a 21 percent increase May 21. Washington County reported a 1.5 percent increase from last year.

Mayor Ted Wheeler told the Portland Tribune editorial board that he believes the perception of the city's homeless problem is likely to get worse before it gets better.

Although Wheeler said homeless people in the region are attracted to local programs, he expects the population to decline after more locally funded shelters and affordable housing projects open.


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