PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) -- Alex Kim wants to start a family. But there's a problem: he has roommates, and the likelihood of finding an affordable home in Hood River -- the place he's lived for the past 2 years -- isn't getting any higher.
"I can't have my own family living with 3 or 4 other strangers," Kim said, admitting he's been looking online at prices to no avail. "It's just not a feasible thing. There's no possible way I could foster a healthy happy family."
He said prices are rising because of short-term rentals, bringing out-of-town homeowners into the Gorge. The debate over short-term rentals, and possible rule changes, was at center stage in Hood River on Wednesday.
Currently, short-term rental owners must be a full-time residents in Hood River County. But that could change, meaning owners would only have to spend 30 days per year at their homes before they'd have the ability to offer their place as a short-term rental.
There were no decisions made on Wednesday but the Hood River County Planning Commission will hold another meeting on the subject on Feb. 14.
Elizabeth Whelan with Gorge Key Vacation Rentals supports the proposed short-term rental plans. She said there hasn't been complaints about short-term rentals before -- they've existed in Hood River for about a decade. She said they're vital to bringing in tourists.
"There's no correlation between affordable housing being created by eliminating or changing a short term rental," she said.
Still, locals worry the more houses that are used for short-term rentals means less options for the people who actually live in Hood River.
"If I can't live here, I can't work here and if I can't work here, eventually the economy is going to collapse because who's going to serve the tourists?" Kim said.
- Copyright 2018 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
- Initiative would ban the sale of assault weapons
- Oregon man admits using dead UK baby's passport
- Forest Grove police: Woman's death is 'suspicious'
- Officers use ATVs to increase homeless patrols