Single Family Housing Trends

During the heyday of America’s maximum retail sector surge (1996–2006), residential construction and the massive expansion of the automotive sector were at the top of the heap. In addition to the speedup of America’s gross domestic product of goods and services during this time frame, the U.S. was witnessing the peak of a population explosion that doubled its people count from 160 million in the mid–20th century to 320 million today.

Consequently, the automotive industry has broadened its U.S. market position, primarily due to additional Japanese, Germany, and South Korean automobile manufacturers setting up “finishing departments, mostly in non-union Midwest and Southern states, and has reached its pre-recession annual total of 16 million cars sold in the U.S. Residential home construction, however, has badly lagged its previous high point of 1.7 million single family annualized home starts.

Currently, residential construction has struggled to reach one million annualized starts, with most of these devoted to metropolitan leased apartment units, or as homes for leasing in smaller and rural communities. However, the fact that total housing starts fell 2.8% in October from a month earlier, while single family home units’ new construction rose 4.2% in October—the best pace since June 2008— is indicative of a major return shift to traditional single family startups, that year-over-year shows a 5.3% improvement currently.

The factors that are generating this switch to the more traditional homeowning of American families are as follows:


  1. The federal government, in conjunction with Federal Reserve Board approval, has started to lighten up on maximum down-payments, and the overly strict regulations, in the wake of the earlier loose requirements that generated a flood of foreclosures.
  2. With overall national job improvement, an increasing number of fully-employed job holders are committed to permanent homesteads in their new locations.
  3. While rental and residential leasing are still the predominant factor in the reduced level of family housing construction, the ongoing job improvement and lifestyle, especially with the “millennials,” who accounted for the highest rental/leasing commitment shift, has also been abetted by substantially higher rentals in both metropolitan and suburban living space.

While the 1.7 million annualized units of the late 1990’s and early 2000’s are nowhere in sight, as the million mark is the current norm, a steady improvement in the present trend is an encouraging sign of a steadily improving economy.

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Johnson Watershed E-Bulletin Nov. 2014

Johnson Creek Watershed Council E-BULLETIN November 2014 Gresham Main City Park by Bruce MacGRegor 3
1) Johnson Creek Appreciation Night – Thursday, December 11 2) Update from Salmon Surveyors 3) Update on JCWC’s Leadership Transition 4) Metro’s Upper Johnson Creek Restoration Project 5) Calendar at a Glance
1) Johnson Creek Appreciation Night – Thursday, December 11  Everyone is invited to this winter celebration as we recognize volunteers and partners. We hope this event will continue to strengthen the ties amongst the Johnson Creek community. See event invite here.Program 

  • Narrated slideshow to showcase what we have achieved together
  • JCWC 20 Club – honoring volunteers who have contributed to 20 or more events (Russ Stoll, Melanie McCandless, Nicole Alexander, Walt Mintkeski, Kevin D. Hay, Paul Ciri, Paul Rayburn, Nate Whirty, Lee Spiker, Lora Martin, Julie Chapman) Plus Dick Schubert and Marty Urman will be receiving the Presidential Service Award. 
  • See project photos displayed around the room
  • Potluck dinner with JCWC providing main course and drinks. Additions welcome but not required.
  • Final farewell to Executive Director Matt Clark. Don’t miss your chance to say good bye

Register: CrystalSprings_KatieSombat 1 3

2) Update from Salmon Surveyors Every Saturday from October 18-Every Saturday from October 18 – December 13 volunteers are surveying four sections of Johnson Creek, Crystal Springs and Kelley Creek tributaries searching for evidence of spawning fish. This year the project is supported by 60 volunteers. If you live by Johnson Creek please give us a call if you see any fish too. (Photo by Katie Sombat – wild, successfully spawned female coho in Crystal Springs) It’s been a successful year! Eleven live sightings have been recorded in Crystal Springs alone. Three carcasses have been retrieved, sampled and returned. Last week volunteers Jenai Fitzpatrick and Claudia Garcia found the first carcass in the mainstem too. (Photo by Jenai Fitzpatrick – wild, successfully spawned female coho in mainstem Johnson Creek near Telford Rd.) To read more about the salmon surveyors experience – see the Salmon Diaries blog here. This project is made possible with funding from the East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District.

11102_10152351391242024_5947898798482759261_n 23) Update on JCWC’s Leadership Transition Executive Director, Matt Clark’s final day at JCWC is December 5. The Board of Directors has hired Miriam Barnard through the Non-Profit Association of Oregon’s Executive Transition Services. Miriam who has more than a decade of non-profit management experience will serve as JCWC’s Interim Executive Director. She will start two days a week on December, providing day-to-day support of staff and operations/administrative leadership of the organization to ensure a smooth transition. She will continue until a new Executive Director is hired and on board. The Executive Director job posting closed last Friday, November 14. JCWC’s Hiring Committee will be reviewing candidates over the next week and is scheduled to begin interviews after Thanksgiving. If you have additional questions or comments, please contact board vice-chair, Dick Schubert at (503) 652-7477. To read more about Miriam, see her profile here. 4) Metro’s Upper Johnson Creek Restoration Project “Look at those rootwads! My eyes had just caught a glimpse of a large deck of logs with the rootwads still attached. I immediately started thinking about how to acquire those logs. Large pieces of down wood with rootwads are one of the essential habitat features in our streams – think of them as part of the furniture of great salmon habitat…” Article by Metro’s Kate Holleran. Read more about the project here. johnson creek 2 25) Calendar at a Glance  RSVP’s are helpful – email if you plan to attend an event.  Saturday, December 13 – Final volunteer restoration event of the season at Veterans Creek with Friends of Trees, Portland Parks and JCWC – 9am-12pm. RSVP with Amy at Monday, December 15 - EMSWCD PIC Grant Applications due. See more information here. Monday, January 19 – The Courts at Eastmoreland restoration project. Help protect Tideman Johnson Park by working in adjacent areas from 10am-1pm. Wednesday, January 21 – Volunteer Orientation at JCWC Headquarters 6pm. Come sit down with staff members and seasoned volunteers to learn more about what we do here at Johnson Creek Watershed Council, our mission, and how you can be a part of the work. Several programs are renewing in January. These include Johnson Creek Park Stewards and Green Street Stewards. Contact Amy at with your interest.

Updates from the Neighborhood Chair

So my peeps!

Here’s what’s going on.
The neighborhood clean-up was a complete and total success, thanks to you!  You should all feel light and airy having rid your homes and yards and basements and garages and yards and wherever else you stored all that stuff!  And we made money!  Money to do stuff for our neighborhood.  Woopee!!  The weather wasn’t so bad either, only sprinkled a smidge and got windy a bit (a little precarious at times standing under large trees) but we had a blast.  So much so that Creston-Kenilworth and I committed ourselves (not psychologically, although it felt like it at times) to do it again next year!
Here’s what else you should know.  I chatted with our area crime prevention coordinator: Teri Poppino.  Super nice.  We chatted about having the area officer come to our meetings quarterly perhaps and give us the update about crime in our neighborhood.  Our area officer is Tony Zanetti.  I had contacted Teri about a homeless camp that is set up and she is like Janey on the Spot taking care of it with an officer who works specifically with transient issues.  So, if you are on Facebook and have seen the crime updates, that is courtesy of Teri.
The weather has turned chilly and leaves are abound.  Please remember to rake leaves. As one homeowner remarked: with trees comes tree responsibility.  Nobody likes small ponds/lakes around sewer drains.
You may have noticed that the building which A Higher Taste is in, is for sale. I spoke with the current owner and he said yes, they intend to leave, as they have outgrown the space.  Poo.  Because the space is a commercial kitchen for manufacturing food, the next owner will likely do something similar or perhaps it could be a restaurant, he said.  John also acknowledged that the building could be for sale for years, but their hope is to remain in the neighborhood.  I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.
I’ve got an email in to the City to schedule a time to meet with Commissioner Fritz about some issues that neighbors have addressed and also about economic development in our neighborhood.  Stay tuned.
Here are a few things that are going on around the neighborhood:
At Hip Chicks Do Wine (503) 234-3790:
Wine Swap on November 22 2-6 pm
Thanksgiving Day extravaganza Nov 28-30 15$, live music, taste up to 11 wines and appetizers
Hip Chick Holiday Market, Dec. 13 & 14 from 12-5 featuring local artisans, 5$ to taste wines, free to participate and not taste wines.
Pop and Paint, Dec. 21: you can paint a pic for 37$ and they supply wine and snacks
At Naomi’s Organic Farm Supply (503) 517-8551:
Annual Fall switcheroo tools/brands varieties.
Ever expanding variety of succulents
Still have garlic that you can plant through the end of the year
At Gigantic Brewing (503-208-3416):
The tap room and champagne lounge is open daily.  They say they have all the things necessary to make your drinking experience complete – taxidermy, a bladed weapon and a firearm!  
Trader Joe’s Fall Flyer just came out as well.
And, as always, check out Reed’s website for what’s going on on campus.
Do you have a suggestion for a meeting topic, email me.  Have a suggestion for a newsletter topic.  Email me.  Have a complaint, concern.  Want to shoot the breeze.  Email me.  
Reed Neighborhood Chair
Do you want to participate in the Shamrock Run?  Want to join a super team?  Email me at  I’ll tell you how.

Does Street fee include new city income tax??

As the City Council prepares to discuss the controversial street fee proposal on Monday, support is growing for it to include a progressive city income tax to fund maintenance and safety project.

Representatives of several organizations recently endorsed the concept of a progressive income as part of the final street fee proposal. They include 1000 Friends of Oregon, the Bicycle Transportation Alliance, the Coalition for a Livable Future, the Community Alliance of Tenants, the Community Cycling Center, Elders in Action, OPAL Environmental Justice Oregon, AARP Oregon, the Oregon Environmental Council, Oregon Food Bank, the Oregon Opportunity Network, Oregon Walks, the Safe Routes to Schools National Partnership, and Upstream Public Health.

“We strongly support a progressive revenue structure with adequate discounts for low-income members of our community. Portland is experiencing an affordability crisis and growing income inequality, with rising transportation costs a major factor,” reads part of an Oct. 8 letter to the City Council signed by most of the representatives.

The letter says tax payments should be capped at $200 a month — or $2,400 a year — for those earning the most money.

“This proposal helps move us towards a city where everyone can prosper,” the letter says.

The letter also says several issues must still be addressed in the final proposal for their organizations to support it, however. They include whether the fee will raise enough money to make a significant difference, and whether it will be evenly split between maintenance and safety projects.

The letter also says the fee sunset after 10 years, although the council could decide whether to continue it. The letter did not specifically say whether or not the fee should be approved by the voters before it is enacted.

No such proposal has actually been introduced for the City Council to consider, but it will be discussed as one of several options during a work session scheduled for Monday afternoon. It is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. in the Council Chambers at City Hall.

A council vote on a final proposal is tentatively scheduled for Nov. 12.

Commissioner Steve Novick says he prefers a progressive income tax to a flat fee on households, which was included in the original street fee he proposed with Mayor Charlie Hales in May. Novick has not yet endorsed a new proposal, however, and will not until after the work session.

“Well, I’ve made it clear that I prefer something income-based, so naturally I would look more favorably on something where higher income people pay significantly more than middle-income people,” Novick says.

“But we’ll see how things shake out.”

A progressive income tax is among the options considered by three work groups appointed by Hales and Novick to help draft a new fee proposal that responds to criticisms of the original one. Making poor and rich residents pay the same for street-related projects was one of the criticisms.

Also discussed was assessing a fee on businesses that varies according to their size and category. It would replace the business fee in the original proposal, which was based on the number of motor vehicle trips that are estimated to generate.

Allowing discounts or exceptions for governments and nonprofit organizations was also discussed.

The street fee originally proposed by Hales and Novick was intended to raise around $53 million for maintenance and safety projects. It was designed to raise the revenue 50/50 from residents and businesses, and to spend the funds 50/50 on maintenance and safety projects. The Oct. 8 letter says those principles should apply to the final proposal.

“Applying these principles and our on-going support for building a livable, engaged community for all ages, AARP Oregon supports the passage of a revenue proposal that includes a 50/50 expenditure split between safety and maintenance projects and a taxation that is progressive, preferably with a $200 cap for those with highest wealth and income,” AARP Oregon Director Gerald Cohen wrote in a separate Oct. 9 letter.



Tips for staying warm this winter-from Clean Energy Works

Tips for Staying Cozy this Winter

From Clean Energy Works


After a hot summer, temperatures are finally dropping—and winter is just around the corner. Grab a coffee or a hot apple cider, put on your favorite flannel, and cuddle up to your sweetie because we’ve got you covered when it comes to the best tips for keeping toasty indoors.


Take advantage of winter sun. Yes, there is sun, even in Oregon winter! When it’s shining, be sure to open south-facing window curtains, drapes, and blinds during the day, so the sunlight can naturally heat your home. Close window coverings at night to keep the heat in.


Cover drafty windows. Tape a do-it-yourself, clear, plastic film to the inside of your window frames. Make sure the plastic is sealed tightly to the frame. Installing window treatments, such as blinds, drapes, or shades, can also help reduce heat loss.


Adjust the temperature. Set the thermostat 10 to 15 degrees cooler when you’re not home to use less energy and lower utility bills. Lowering the temperature slightly at night and adding an extra blanket to the bed keeps the whole family extra cozy.


Give your home a free check up from Clean Energy Works. Your home does a lot for you—everyone needs a check up every once in a while. We’ll give you a complete look at all the ways you can improve your home: becoming more efficient, creating comfort, providing better air quality, and even being safe during an earthquake. Take an online eValuation, and use HomeScope to see what your neighbors are doing for their homes—with all kinds of information on rebates and financing available when you’re ready for a home upgrade. It’s all available at:


Reed Neighborhood Meeting schedule for 2015 – ALL are welcome

All meetings are Forum Style.

The meetings will be held every 2nd Tuesday of the month starting at 6:30 pm.

January  13th – Board Meeting

February  10th– General Meeting

March  10th-Board Meeting

April 14th -Board Meeting

May  12th– General Elections for the Board

June 9th– Board Meeting

July 14th–  Board Meeting

August 11th– Board Meeting

September 5th – Saturday   Neighborhood PICNIC!

September 8th – Board Meeting

October 13th– General Meeting

November 10th– Board Meeting (if needed)

December – No Meeting

If you have any questions about the meetings or topics.

Please contact Reed Neighborhood’s Current Chair.

Marisha Childs  at   <>

Clarification on Proposed City land uses

Hello Reed Neighborhood, 

As many of you have emailed me recently about the piece of mail you have received from the City of Portland I wanted to be clear on what zoning changes are currently being proposed in our neighborhood.  There are two proposals that the City of Portland, Bureau of Planning and Sustainability is considering for the upcoming Comprehensive Plan.  Both of these proposals came from the Reed Neighborhood Association (RNA) and have been voted on (and unanimously passed) by the neighborhood during meetings over the past several years.  The RNA supports these changes to the zoning.  If you voted for further protection of the neighborhood and are against lot splitting then you should also seriously consider supporting these changes.
I’ll describe in detail the changes at the end of this email.  First I want to encourage you to visit the Cities Map App and comment – one way or the other.  This is a critical step to letting the City know how we feel about the proposals.  In particular the zone change between Schiller and Raymond is facing an uphill battle and needs major support to be adopted.  I’m seeing very little in the way of comments on the website – especially compared to some of our neighbors.  Now is the time, please go and comment!
In case there is confusion, here is how you comment:
1. Click ‘View the Map’
2. Zoom into our neighborhood either with the +/- symbol or with the wheel on your mouse
3. Click on the orange box surrounding our neighborhood – there are two separate ones.  You can and should comment on both.
4. Click on ‘Add / View Comments’
5. Click on the + symbol and type your comment
The details:  The verbage on these is confusing.  There are two proposals and while they are both referred to as ‘changes’ in reality the end result of adoption would be that our neighborhood would be better protected from lot splitting and tear downs and thus would remain intact and looking like it does today.
Simply put an R7 neighborhood allows / requires larger lots and less density.  The portion of Reedwood from Steele to Raymond was built as an R7 zone and has always been an R7 zone.  During the last comp. plan in the mid ’80s the City targeted this area to be turned into an R5 – a more dense neighborhood zoning.  The first proposal currently being considered is to keep the R7 in place for Reedwood between Steele and Raymond.  Support of the proposed ‘change’ would keep the existing R7.
The second proposal is for the area of Reedwood between Raymond and Schiller.  Currently that area is an R5 neighborhood and as a result has been subject to the 2 big Renaissance Homes projects that have torn down 2 ranch houses and replaced them with 5 much taller houses.  If you walk down Raymond street you can see that both sides of the street are the same neighborhood.  The houses were all built at the same time and share many characteristics.  In my opinion – and in the opinion of many in the neighborhood – there is no reason for different zones on each side.  Thus the proposed change in this area is for the zoning to be changed from the R5 to the R7 for a more cohesive Reedwood.  If you agree with this notion you should voice your support for the proposal.  As I mentioned this proposal is an uphill battle and the city really needs to hear from us (again).
If anyone has any more detailed questions or wants to see some of the data on the areas please feel free to email me.
Thanks and hope to see you all at the upcoming picnic.

Gabriel Headrick, AIA
Steelhead Architecture l c. 503.348.8874

Water saving Tips from Water Providers Consortium




Contributed article by the Regional Water Providers Consortium



Author: Lindsey Berman, Conservation Program Manager, Regional Water Providers Consortium




Waterwise Gardening: 10 Simple Ways to Save Water and Money this Summer




Landscapes add value, beauty and livability to our homes. With water use often doubling in the dry summer months due to outdoor watering, lawns and gardens also offer great potential to save time, money and water by making simple waterwise improvements.




In the Portland area, we receive 90 percent of our rainfall October through May. That means we use the most water during the very same months that we get the least rain. Being efficient with your water use makes sound economic and environmental sense, and helps our region meet its long-term water supply needs.




Waterwise gardening doesn’t have to look like a typical southwest cactus and rock landscape. Rather, waterwise gardening practices that incorporate efficient watering tips can create beautiful landscapes that are multi-colored, vibrant and bountiful, even during the hottest summer days.




The Regional Water Providers Consortium—a group of 20+ local water providers and Metro—offers Reed residents the following 10 tips for creating and maintaining waterwise landscapes.




  1. Adjust your sprinklers to water your lawn and garden, not the street or sidewalk.
  2. Water early in the morning (before 10 a.m.) or later in the evening (after 6 p.m.) when temperatures are cooler and evaporation is minimized.
  3. Water established lawns about one inch per week (a bit more during hot, dry weather). Use a watering gauge or tuna can, along with a timer, to determine how long it takes your sprinkler to water one inch.
  4. Set it, but don’t forget it! Whether you have a manual sprinkler or an automatic system, adjust your watering throughout the summer to meet the needs of different plants and lawns. Check out the Weekly Watering Number at to see how much to water your plants and lawn each week.
  5. Inspect your overall sprinkler system for leaks, broken lines or blockage in the lines. A well-maintained system will save you money, water and time, as even small leaks can waste hundreds of gallons of water each month.
  6. Consider replacing some turf area with low-water plants and ornamental grasses. They are easier to maintain than turf, look beautiful and require far less water. Visit to download a free water-efficient plant guide.
  7. Group plants with similar watering needs. Creating “watering zones” in your garden will allow you to give each plant the water it requires—not too much or too little.
  8. Add a shut-off nozzle to your garden hose and save about five to seven gallons each minute your hose is on.
  9. Adjust your mower to a higher setting.  A taller lawn provides shade to the roots and helps retain soil moisture, so your lawn requires less water.
  10. Apply only the amount of water your soil can absorb. Water thoroughly, but infrequently. If runoff or puddling occurs, reduce longer watering sessions into several short sessions. This will allow for water to more efficiently soak into the soil between each watering session.




For more tips to help you save water and money this summer, visit the Regional Water Providers Consortium at




About the Regional Water Providers Consortium:
The Regional Water Providers Consortium (a group of 20+ local water providers plus the regional government Metro) is committed to good stewardship of our region’s water through conservation, emergency preparedness planning, and water supply coordination. The Regional Water Providers Consortium provides resources and information to help individual and commercial customers save




























































Photo caption: Regularly check your irrigation system for leaks. Even small leaks can waste hundreds of thousands of gallons of water a month.










RISE Village- Age at Home

     The national Village Movement began over a decade ago when 11 older adults living in Boston, MA joined forces to create a way for themselves to “age at home” and remain independent as long as possible. There are now over 130 established Villages nationwide with over 150 more in development, including 7 here in the Portland-Metro area!

This kind of village is neither a real estate development nor a retirement community. Village members continue to live in their own homes and can be homeowners, renters, sharing housing, or living with relatives. Villages are neighbor helping neighbor. They are networks of volunteers and reduced-cost professional support that

foster independent aging in community. RISE Village is a spoke of the Villages North West hub that is the administrative body supporting the development of villages in the Portland-Metro area: Eastside Village PDX (12 neighborhoods between I-84 and Powell), Northeast Village PDX (neighborhoods north of I-84), Viva Village (Beaverton area), Village Without Walls (Forest Grove, Cornelius, Aloha-Reedville), Three Rivers Village (Lake Oswego and West Linn area), and others developing in the south Portland/Multnomah Village/John’s Landing area. When launched, RISE Village will serve Portland’s 11 neighborhoods south of Powell Boulevard, including Lents. This will make it possible for seniors and adults with disabilities living in those areas to grow old in the homes they love.

To get involved in RISE Village, meetings are held at Kenilworth Presbyterian Church on SE Gladstone at 34th on the third Wednesday of each month from 6:30-8:30pm. To learn more about the Village Movement visit or attend a Villages 101 presentation (please RSVP to :

â–ª June 8 Fruit Face Smoothie Bar 9201 SE Foster 2pm

â–ª June 10 Sacred Heart Villas Comm. Room 3911 SE Milwaukie 6:30pm

More Information Sessions will be posted on the Villages NW website.