UPDATES: Salem City Council and County Commissioners Meet Monday for Housing Business Session

Ridgeland Apartments on Center Street Northeast on January 12. (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)

The Salem City Council is meeting Monday night for a business session with county, school district and transit officials to discuss housing needs in Salem.


Marion County Councilors, Polk County Commissioner Jeremy Gordon, the Salem Area Transit Board and members of the Salem-Keizer School District Board will join councilors for the debriefing session. 6 p.m. work.

Councilors are holding the business meeting to comply with Bill 4006, which requires some cities, including Salem, to hold public meetings to discuss the causes, barriers and potential solutions to local rent charges, according to the point to the agenda. Panelists will share their experience in developing subsidized, affordable and market-priced housing in Salem, as well as what impacts their affordability.

The state’s Department of Housing and Community Services notified the city of Salem on April 1 that it had designated the city as “severely burdened with rent,” the agenda item says. This means that of the approximately 27,000 households that rent accommodation, more than 25% spend more than half of their income on rent. In Salem, that figure is 25.85% based on 2020 census data.

As required by the 2003 House Bill for cities with populations over 10,000, City of Salem staff will begin work on a housing production strategy. The report, due in 2025, will list actions and policies the city plans to take to meet housing need, produce it, and “achieve fair and equitable housing outcomes,” according to the agenda item.

City officials are also working to designate more land for multi-family housing and offer incentives to fill gaps in their funding, intended to provide affordable housing for those at risk of homelessness.

City staff also invited local housing and service providers to livestream the working session, including the Mid-Willamette Valley Community Action Agency, City Planning Commission, Salem Neighborhood Associations, Urban Renewal Advisory Councils; PacificSource and the Mid-Valley Homeless Alliance.

How to participate : See the meeting on Youtube or watch on CC:Media Channel 21.

-Ardeshir Tabrizian

Maria D. Ervin