ashland.news
July 21, 2024

Big Ideas: Tackling the affordable housing shortage head-on

State Rep. Pam Marsh, D-Ashland, and Brandon Goldman, community development director for the city of Ashland, are part of a "Big Ideas" discussion set for Jan. 2.
December 4, 2023

What can be done? Speakers to discuss strategies at Jan. 2 talk at Ashland library

By Barbara Cervone

Oregon is in the throes of a full-blown housing crisis, facing a current deficit of 140,000 units. Lack of inventory is driving homelessness, accelerating prices, discouraging the workforce, and eroding the state’s livability.

 “Our Affordable Housing Challenge” is the topic of a free public discussion from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 2, in the Gresham Room at the Ashland Public Library, 410 Siskiyou Blvd. Part of the “Big Ideas” program series, it is presented by the American Association of University Women (AAUW) Ashland Branch and Jackson County Library Services.

The speakers are state Rep. Pam Marsh, D-Ashland, and Brandon Goldman, community development director for the city of Ashland. They will discuss the multiple strategies needed to address the crisis, the shared responsibilities of local and state government, and a preview of likely policies and funding to be advanced in the 2024 Legislative session.

 2024 “Big Ideas” Schedule 
Jan. 2: Our Affordable Housing Challenge
Feb. 6: Get to Know BASE (Black Alliance & Social Empowerment)
March 5: The Power of Public Art
For more information, contact AAUW “Big Ideas” coordinator Marilyn Hawkins (541-708-6697, mhawkins@prhawk.com); or Ellie Anderson of the Ashland library, (541-774-6896, EAnderson@jcls.org).

“Governor Tina Kotek has set an annual housing goal of 36,000 homes,” Marsh said, “meaning that in the coming years we will need to roughly double the current production of housing. To have any chance of achieving those goals, we need to be willing to take bold, innovative action.”

Rep. Marsh was first elected in November 2016 and currently serves as Chair of the House Committee on Climate, Energy and Environment. She is also a member of these House Committees: Agriculture; Land Use; Natural Resources and Water; Revenue; and the Joint Committees on Tax Expenditures and on Legislative Policy and Research. She represents house District 5, which reaches from the Applegate to the Greensprings and includes Ashland, Talent, Phoenix, a southern portion of Medford, Jacksonville and Ruch.

Brandon Goldman is an experienced urban planner and community development professional. With more than 24 years of experience in planning and housing development, he has long worked to promote Ashland as a livable community that prioritizes the needs of all citizens. In addition to his professional work, Goldman has also been actively involved in the community, serving on the boards of the Southern Oregon Housing Resource Center, Ashland Community Land Trust (ACLT), and the Ashland Art Center. He graduated from Southern Oregon University and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP).

Barbara Cervone moved to the Rogue Valley five years ago after 50 years in the urban Northeast. She spent her professional career championing public schools that serve all students well. A passionate writer, she has Bachelor of Arts and Doctor of Education degrees from Harvard University.

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Bert Etling

Bert Etling is the executive editor of Ashland.news. Email him at betling@ashland.news.

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