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A New Year Brings Fresh Workforce Housing Opportunities to Explore


Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

In the last Calvin and Hobbes comic, published on New Year’s Eve,1995, a boy and stuffed tiger see a fresh canvas of snow and possibility, a clean start, and a magical world. The iconic last words, “Let’s go exploring!” resonate with the Missing Middle Housing Fund as we enter 2024. 

 

In an Oregon currently bracing for winter weather, we see opportunities to explore everywhere we look:

  • Our Governor recently demonstrated at this year’s Oregon Business Plan Summit a heightened sense of focus and urgency to create more workforce housing. Housing was mentioned more times than at the last 7-8 summits combined. 

  • State legislation is once again prioritizing significant housing production.

  • Innovation companies are launching and growing seemingly every week, seeking opportunities, partners, and resources.

  • Nontraditional allies, like employers, semiconductor fabricators, and forest health advocates are seeking housing expertise.   

 

The New Year ahead represents a world of possibilities, and it’s time for the Missing Middle Housing Fund to make some 2024 resolutions:

  1. Using the model we launched in Newberg with SEDCOR and the Newberg Workforce Housing Consortium, we will directly engage employers more fully in planning, funding, and building workforce housing, statewide. 

  2. Building off Oregon’s strength in both forestry and semiconductors, we will bring workforce housing technical expertise to economic investments in forest management and semiconductor production. 

  3. We will continue to support housing innovators to test, grow, and scale everywhere, and bring more innovation to Oregon. 

  4. Lastly, We Will Not WAIT. No piece of legislation is going to solve our housing underproduction crisis. No single technology holds the solution to more efficient production. No amount of capital will create sustainable increases in development. There are no silver bullets. 

 

In 2024, the MMHF will host more workforce housing innovation summits; assist more cities and employers to create housing; influence policy at local, state, and national levels; and will help connect and scale housing innovators of all kinds. 

 

Create your own housing resolutions and help the MMHF achieve ours. Partnership is critical. Speed is of the essence. Creativity is mandatory. The need remains vast, but like an imaginative boy and his wise stuffed tiger, we see possibility everywhere we look. Join us. 


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