Over the past decade, multiple City of Portland projects worked with the community to identify issues related to the design of multi-dwelling development and the topic of healthy, connected neighborhoods. These past projects include (see links in Documents and Resources):
- The Infill Design Project
- East Portland Review and Action Plan
- 122nd Avenue Planning Study
- Healthy Active Communities for Portland’s Affordable Housing Families Initiative
- Promoting Health Through Multi-Family Housing Project
- Powell-Division Transit and Development Project
- Various PBOT street/bicycle/pedestrian connectivity studies
- Comprehensive Plan Update
Building on this broad public input, the Better Housing by Design project will create implementation tools, such as Zoning Code regulations and street connectivity approaches, to address issues identified through these projects.
The BHD project scope has been informed by feedback received from communities who are frequently under-served and under-represented in the City of Portland's activities, including people of color, immigrants and low-income people. This feedback identified the need for residential open spaces, housing design supportive of healthy living, and better and safer connections to neighborhood destinations ― especially in East Portland.
The project kicked off in fall 2016 with a “check-in stage” to make sure that stakeholders’ issues were defined and prioritized in a way that made sense. Staff has been using interviews, walks and roundtables to review the problems with them. This early round of feedback incorporated the perspectives of people living and working in and around multi-dwelling zones, as well as builders of multi-dwelling housing. Some of the early discussions involved community members in the Jade District and Rosewood/Glenfair areas of East Portland, which have large areas of multi-dwelling zoning and will be the focus of street plans. Discussions and walks in these areas included representatives from Jade/APANO, the Rosewood Initiative, affordable housing developers, as well as several developers who build in East Portland.