Southern Oregon Rental Owners Association members reported a 9.42 percent vacancy rate in June, its most recent reading.

Southern Oregon Rental Owners Association members reported a 9.42 percent vacancy rate in June, its most recent reading.

The vacancy rate is the highest since SOROA began surveying members at its monthly meetings 20 years ago.

"We knew some of our renters couldn't afford it and moved in with families," said association manager Roberta Claudson of the SOROA. "We thought it would be balanced out by people who had lost their homes. But apparently, they've moved in with families, too."

She indicated multiple-family housing has been hit harder than houses.

"Houses are staying good," Claudson said. "But it's the apartments that are seeing it; the ex-homeowners still want a house."

At their June monthly meeting, SOROA members said they had 414 vacancies out 4,392 reporting units. A year earlier, the vacancy rate was 5.5 percent. It was 5.9 percent in the summer of 2007 and 2.3 percent in 1999.

SOROA has also moved its office, overseen by association coordinator Sharri Dallas, to Suite 10 of the Estate Building, 10 Crater Lake Ave., Medford.

The association's new hours are noon to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. The telephone number remains 541-842-7676. However, there is a new fax number, 541-858-3081.

SOROA's next meeting is 6:30 p.m. Sept. 15 in the conference room of the Housing Authority of Jackson County, 2231 Table Rock Road. Diane Hess of the Fair Housing Council will be the speaker.

— Greg Stiles