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Housing Crunch

Clatsop County has a housing crunch that touches all income levels, from low-wage workers to six-figure executives, from renters just starting out to would-be homeowners looking to plant roots.

The shortage has no easy solutions, in part because it arose from a perfect storm of trends.

Over the past year, civic leaders have described the lack of housing as a significant problem that could undermine economic growth. Yet local government has taken few concrete steps in response.

Quality of life concerns, the desire for historic preservation, and the natural resistance many people have to new housing projects in their neighborhoods have created a difficult climate for developers.

Experts do not believe market forces alone will solve the problem. A partnership between the public and private sectors, and some willingness among residents to embrace worthy projects, could make a difference.

The Daily Astorian examined the housing crunch through the eyes of elected officials, economic experts, real-estate professionals, developers, homeowners and renters.

The series will explore the forces driving the issue, along with what is — and is not — possible for the North Coast to achieve.

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