Will Portland Rents Rise as High as San Francisco's?

Watch video of Kim-Mai Cutler's full presentation to Metro.

APPLE CRUNCH: Kim-Mai Cutler grew up in Cupertino, Calif., now home to Apple. She says the region is at times "totally dystopian."

Kim-Mai Cutler came to Portland bearing bad news.

The San Francisco tech journalist, who covers the Bay Area's housing crisis for website TechCrunch, spoke to WW last week in advance of a Sept. 18 presentation at regional planning agency Metro.

"No middle- or lower-income people can basically afford to show up in San Francisco anymore," Cutler said.

That warning struck a nerve with anxious Portlanders, who've seen a dramatic spike in the cost of rent over the past year.

Cutler's presentation at Metro on Friday was standing-room only. She walked the audience through a series of missteps and competing interests that have raised average San Francisco rents to more than $3,000 a month.

You can watch her full presentation below. The Oregonian has a concise summary of the panel discussion that followed, which featured tenant advocate Elisa Harrigan, developer Eli Spevak, and economist Joe Cortright. (I moderated.) Metro also covered the event.

The quick takeaway from the panel? Portland needs to dedicate more money to housing ASAP—and requiring parking spaces in new apartments is a huge mistake. As Metro's Nick Christensen writes:

Watch Cutler's full presentation:

Averting a housing crisis: Is Portland the next Bay Area? from oregonmetro on Vimeo.

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