Real estate brokers throughout Oregon and southwest Washington are gearing up for Windermere Real Estate’s annual Share the Warmth campaign.

Through Dec. 19, Windermere brokers are collecting new or gently used adult-sized coats and twin-sized blankets for the local community.

In the Astoria area, the donations will benefit Clatsop Community Action, a local nonprofit specializing in food, housing and energy assistance. CCA is asking for coats, blankets, hats, gloves, mittens and scarves. Donations may be dropped off at the Windermere office in Astoria at 175 14th St. Suite 120.

Donations for the Share the Warmth campaign may also be dropped off at two other Windermere locations, 255 N. Hemlock St., Suite B1, in Cannon Beach, and 588 Pacific Way in Gearhart.

For more information, go to windermere.com

Freeing up properties used as short-term rentals or vacation rental dwellings was considered a driving force in promoting housing availability.

“You might want to think about it as putting commercial uses in a residential area,” Buckley said.

Renting out homes is a commercial use, like a hotel room, he added. “Thinking of it in those terms can help frame it and differentiate it from someone’s second home.”

Members of the audience, including South County officials, businesspeople and residents, picked up on this theme.

“Looking at the ages of the people in my residential neighborhood here in Seaside and looking at many of them and realizing they won’t be here after two or three more years, and they’ll be selling their houses,” an audience member commented. “The trend I see is people from outside saying, ‘I’m going to make a big buck, I’m going to buy a house and turn it into a vacation rental.’ I’ve seen that happen. It seems there’s a rubber stamp that goes on top of all those. I’m seeing our neighborhood become a VRD.”

Others pointed to homeowners who, they said, rented their homes “under the table.”

The Clatsop County Housing Study, taken with the participation of the five county cities of Warrenton, Seaside, Cannon Beach, Astoria and Gearhart, with the unincorporated townships around the county.

The study profiles and analyzes the current countywide housing supply, housing and demographic trends.

Using this information, the authors intend to review existing plans and develop projections based on data and policies.

Meeting the county’s need for housing of all types is the goal of the study.

The study, available at the county website, provides details on population growth, household characteristics and available land.

While the study says that there is “ample buildable land” throughout the county to fill need for the past two decades. Seaside is the most constrained compared to its 20-year housing need. Warrenton, Astoria and unincorporated areas have the most buildable land.

County growth is about 1 percent since 2000. Warrenton and Seaside are the fasting growing cities; Cannon Beach and Gearhart have been showing “slow and steady growth,” Buckley said.

Planners used the industry standard of 30 percent of gross income to determine how much a person can afford, Buckley said, a measure used by banks and government agencies.

Residents shared concerns that those figures don’t really reflect affordability.

“Could we say the numbers don’t translate into actual cost?” asked an audience member, adding that utilities, taxes and other necessities are not figured in.

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