By Dawn Van Dyke, RCAC communications manager

Grave Creek covered bridge.Joining the ranks of Seattle and San Francisco, Josephine County in rural Oregon, asked the state’s Gov. Kate Brown to declare a two-year housing emergency.

During the past 10 years, fewer than 100 apartment units were constructed in the area, versus more than 1,000 homes that were sold to investors and retirees. Rents have increased from about $800 to $1,200 – $1,600. That is far beyond 30 percent of monthly income for many low-income renters.

In addition to the emergency declaration, Simon Hare, Josephine County Board of Commissioners Chairman, wants to allow accessory dwelling units, also known as “granny-flats,” or “mother-in-law apartments.”

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