But What About All Those Empty Houses?

Housing crisis in Eugene! Really? How many houses and apartments are currently vacant within the urban growth boundary and who’s keeping track? On my block alone, three affordable family houses have been vacant for several years with no sign that the owners intend to fill them.

Before any more up-zoning approvals are made in Eugene’s older residential neighborhoods, the city needs to reveal the truth about currently unoccupied properties. It may be easier to ignore these and cry wolf — Housing crisis! — allowing ever-eager developers to invade quiet, affordable neighborhoods to build new stack-and-pack apartment buildings or fill in single-family lots with additional houses.

This process is not only detrimental to the environment (think of what goes into landfills to clear lots for redevelopment and/or the loss of mature trees), but it also rewards owners who purposely hold back rentals for what can only be reasoned as financial gain. An auditor could have a field day in uncovering the truth behind Eugene’s housing crisis claim — if only we had an auditor.

Christine L. Sundt