St. Helens solicits feedback on housing needs
St. Helens residents are invited to provide feedback on housing during a kick-off meeting in early December as the city begins a housing needs analysis report.
Earlier this year, the Oregon Legislature passed House Bill 4006, which requires cities and counties with populations of more than 10,000 people deemed at least 25 percent severely rent-burdened to conduct public meetings, discuss solutions to rental issues and submit a plan to the state's Housing and Community Services Department to address the local impact.
"Severely rent-burdened" defines those who spend more than half of their income on rental expenses. Data from the U.S. Census in 2016 indicate that 27 percent of residents in St. Helens qualify as severely rent-burdened.
On Tuesday, Dec. 11 at 6 p.m. in the St. Helens City Council chambers, the city will host a kick-off meeting with consultants from FCS Group, a Lake Oswego-based financial, economic and utility consulting analytic agency that will be helping manage the housing needs analysis project. A short presentation about the project and review of a draft housing needs forecast will be presented, a press release from the city explains.
St. Helens will receive some funding from the Department of Land Conservation and Development to help complete the analysis. In 2017, the city partnered with Community Action Team, which conducted a countywide housing needs assessment, though St. Helens has not conducted a study centered specifically around the city's needs.
The St. Helens Planning Commission will serve as the advisory committee for the project, which must be completed by June 30.
As project materials are completed, they will be made available at www.ci.st-helens.or.us/planning/page/housing-needs-analysis.