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The City of Portland, Oregon

Planning and Sustainability

Innovation. Collaboration. Practical Solutions.

Phone: 503-823-7700

Curbside Hotline: 503-823-7202

1900 SW 4th Ave, Suite 7100, Portland, OR 97201

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I’ve heard there is plenty of land available to meet our 20-year housing need. Why do we need to fit more families into my neighborhood?

As part of the Comprehensive Plan Update, the City of Portland identified adequate land supply to meet its 20-year need for housing. The challenge is to provide a diverse range of unit types and prices in locations that help meet the needs of all, including low-income populations, communities of color, and people of all ages and abilities. Housing preference is usually shaped by the size and needs of a household. However, the actual choice and location of where to live is significantly influenced by household income.

One of the Residential Infill Project objectives is to provide people with a wider range of choices for where to live. As a city and community, we’re committed to giving more Portlanders an opportunity to live in and enjoy our vibrant residential neighborhoods, while expanding economic opportunities for families and reducing our impact on the environment. More options will help families have access to schools, parks, and employment opportunities. They will help enable teachers to live near the schools where they teach, grandparents to live near their grandchildren, and the next generation of Portlanders to live in the city where they grew up.

Duplexes, triplexes and accessory dwelling units can offer smaller, relatively less expensive units, that can be added to the overall housing supply at a scale that is compatible with nearby single-dwelling houses. These units can help neighborhoods remain vibrant and inclusive, and provide housing options to meet the needs of people of all ages, incomes and abilities.

This approach acknowledges that the average household size is shrinking. A century ago, there were on average 4.5 people living in a house. Today, that number is around 2.5 and is projected to drop to 2.1 over the next 20 years.

The Comprehensive Plan prioritizes centers and corridors for future growth, as these areas generally have the existing infrastructure and facilities such as transit, jobs, shops, parks and other services to meet daily needs.