While the Better Housing by Design project is focusing on Portland’s multi-dwelling zones, the Residential Infill Project is addressing the scale of new houses and remodels in Portland’s single-dwelling zones. It is also proposing new rules that would increase housing options in the same areas. For instance, the recommendations would allow more than one accessory dwelling unit (ADU) on a property (one internal, one external) and allow triplexes on corners. And the project is proposing to increase the potential for duplexes in single-dwelling zones.
Duplexes, triplexes and ADUs help to fill the housing gap in Portland between single-family homes and high-density apartments or condos. Thus, they are called the “missing middle.” These smaller, more compact housing types function like houses, but in a higher density form. They can offer residents a more affordable housing choice than a larger home. The Better Housing by Design project will also be looking at regulations for missing middle housing types, but only within the multi-dwelling zones.