Klamath Tackles Housing Shortage

Klamath has lower costs than most markets in Oregon, a strong business climate, and two local colleges to provide a skilled workforce. And like many growing communities around the nation, Klamath faces a shortage of housing. But Klamath organizations are working together to fix that problem.

Klamath has lower costs than most markets in Oregon, a strong business climate, and two local colleges to provide a skilled workforce. And like many growing communities around the nation, Klamath faces a shortage of housing. But Klamath organizations are working together to fix that problem.

Kingsley Field’s Air National Guard predicts an increase in pilots and crewmen, Klamath Community College is dramatically expanding, and both the Swan Lake Pump Storage and gas pipeline projects are on the horizon. Rising business development means higher demand for homes. And Klamath’s affordable cost of living makes the area attractive.

But while demand is up, supply is low. Across the country and especially in Oregon, builders just aren’t building enough to keep up with demand due to tight local land use regulations, limited access to buildable lots, and a lull in building following the Great Recession. Housing shortages don’t just drive up prices, they hurt economic development; if there’s no place for employees to live, businesses can’t relocated to or expand in a region.

While job growth in Klamath has exceeded the national average since 2016, the average age of homes in Klamath is 45 years. Many buyers want newer homes.

While the rest of the country struggles, Choose Klamath believes this is where Klamath has an advantage. Choose Klamath, the Klamath County Commissioners and the City of Klamath Falls have formed a special taskforce to address housing shortages. The taskforce is looking to jumpstart construction of new middle-income homes and apartments in Klamath because available and affordable workforce housing is a vital component of a thriving community. Klamath County Association of Realtors reports that since 2018 alone the number of available lots in Klamath Falls has shrunk by nearly one-third—from 1,500 to 1,000—hinting at new homes ready to go up. If we build it, they will come. Learn more at http://www.chooseklamath.com/

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