6/7/2018: Local Government Accountability Project Press Release


Affordable Oregon Releases First Ever Local Government Affordability Rankings; Portland Ranks Last

The Inaugural Local Government Accountability Project (LGAP) examines nineteen Portland/Metro Area jurisdictions, ranking their fees, charges, customer service and time to market from “worst to first.”


Affordable Oregon, a not-for-profit organization seeking housing affordability for all Oregonians, released their first annual Local Government Accountability Project (LGAP) today.  The comprehensive study examines the direct effect of local government fees, charges and timelines on the final price of a home.

The study selected nineteen jurisdictions commonly associated with the Portland Metropolitan Area, collected data in six different categories and then ranked those jurisdictions from the combined result.

“The LGAP is a team effort by our members to collect data, combine the data for comparison and push forward a one of a kind examination of the effect local government is having on the price of a home.” said Joe Keizur, Executive Director of Affordable Oregon.  “To my knowledge, there has never been a concerted, collective examination of local government impact on housing like this and the result speaks for itself.”

Perhaps the most shocking discovery is the City of Portland coming in as the “least affordable” local government in which to build a home.  The City of Portland declared a “housing crisis” years ago, but has done nothing to change or reduce their internal impact on the overall cost of a home.  Ranking in the bottom five of every category the LGAP examined, the City of Portland’s fees, charges and timeline for project completion make up a full 20% of the total cost of a new home built in Portland’s city limits.

“With a final estimated impact of $85,300 per home, the City of Portland is the least affordable jurisdiction in which to build a home and it’s not even close,” says Keizur.  “It will, on average, cost $20,000 more to build a home in Portland than the median jurisdiction listed in this study.”

By comparison, the City of Milwaukie, located immediately south of Portland, ranks as the “most affordable” place to build a home of the nineteen jurisdictions studied.  Milwaukie received high marks for getting homes to market, reasonable system development charges (SDC’s) and a total combined cost per home of $44,707.99 or $40,000 cheaper per home than the City of Portland.

“While the City of Portland certainly has more challenges for affordability than the City of Milwaukie, it’s incredible the City of Portland can claim they need $40,000 more per home to administer the same process Milwaukie does,” says Keizur.  “The City of Portland has no business lecturing anybody about affordability on any level.”

Started in March of 2018, Affordable Oregon now includes more than 1,000 members.  Affordable Oregon is focused on creating housing affordability for every Oregonian.