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Housing. It’s a basic human need: Shelter from the elements; respite from work and public life; a place to cook, gather, eat and sleep.
But many Portlanders cannot find a home, especially an affordable one. They may be forced to rent an apartment that is too small, or too far away from work and their community. Maybe they take on several roommates to help with the rent. And if they do find a home they can afford to buy or rent, it likely is far from transit and basic amenities — like grocery stores.
The rising number of people who cannot find a safe, healthy, affordable place to live has become a critical issue for our community.
Here’s an introduction to some BPS projects that encourage or require new development that is more affordable and create more housing choice for all Portlanders.
Note: If you’re looking for resources to find housing, the Portland Housing Bureau has some useful information.
The Residential Infill Project (RIP) is exploring ways to allow more housing units in single-family neighborhoods.
Effective Feb. 1, 2017, the City of Portland’s Inclusionary Housing (IH) Program went into effect, including new inclusionary zoning requirements. This means that all new residential buildings with 20 or more units must include a certain number of units that are affordable to Portlanders making 80 percent of median family income (MFI). Additional rules create incentives for developers to build units for people making 60 percent of MFI.
Residential zones outside the Central City, where two or more units are allowed, are called multi-dwelling zones. In these neighborhoods you’ll see everything from apartment buildings and fourplexes to courtyard apartments and duplexes.
Even though it feels like new buildings are rapidly sprouting up all over Portland, the supply of new housing is still not keeping up with demand. Designers, builders, architects and the community have expressed concerns about how long the design review process takes and how restrictive it is.
Over the next 25 years, the SW corridor, located on and near Barbur Boulevard, will experience a lot of the region’s development growth.