Letters to the Editor 2/28/2024


Last updated 2/27/2024 at 10:28am

Build it and they will come

To the Editor:

There are many topics I could address as February draws to a close, but I have selected the homeless and housing issues in Sisters and in Deschutes County.

I begin with a question: Why so many homeless in our communities and families that can’t afford the price of a rental? When I moved to Sisters 30 years ago there was a smattering of small homes scattered throughout our town. The same was true for Bend and Redmond. Small dwellings were left over from the mill and logging days. In Sisters, there was the “Pines” out on Brooks Camp Rd. Here sat small houses on train cars that had been parked there as logging dried up and these were soon occupied by low-income families, retired loggers and mill workers. These houses/homes are gone. Urban renewal, expansion of the growth boundaries, real estate speculation? All have contributed to the loss of domiciles for low-income or beginning families. Additionally, the Fed has tried to keep inflation at around 2 percent. This has not happened in the 30 years I have lived here in Sisters. Using Bureau of Labor statistics, what cost $500 back in 1990 today costs $1,210. That’s just calculating inflation. With the accelerated growth in the tri-counties and the desire to live in communities like Bend or Sisters, you can add thousands of dollars more to the price of homes and rentals.

Everyone, rich or poor, is looking for “The Big Rock Candy Mountain.” Providing that here in Sisters may be a goal too difficult to realize for some in our community. It reminds of a common comment circulating around town, when the first new middle-high school was built: “If you build it, they will come.” Well folks, they are here.

Rob Phelps


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