This project doesn’t affect properties in multi-dwelling zones (where larger apartments are typically sited) or residential development in commercial/mixed use zones. There are a number of issues that fall outside the scope of this project, such as rules for affordable housing, demolition, historic preservation, system development charges (SDCs), movable homes (tiny houses on wheels), and changes to the Community Design Standards.
But a number of BPS projects have or are presently addressing these issues, including:
- Better Housing by Design is revising development and design standards in Portland’s multi-dwelling zones (R3, R2, R1 and RH) outside the Central City.
- The Design Overlay Zone Assessment includes recommendations to improve the Community Design Standards and other tools used in the design overlay system, as well as suggestions for considering the design of multi-family housing in rewriting these tools.
- The Mixed Use Zones Project created new commercial/mixed use zones that include provisions for housing in Portland’s commercial areas outside the Central City.
- Inclusionary Housing mandates the provision of affordable housing units in new multi-dwelling residential development and provides additional incentives for creating affordable housing units.
- BPS is exploring the possibility of changing the current threshold for deconstruction requirements to increase the number of homes that would need to be deconstructed and salvaged instead of demolished, which would make it less attractive to demolish an older home.
- An upcoming historic resources code improvement project will amend procedures and regulations that protect designated historic resources and propose new options for creating local historic and conservation districts.
It’s important to recognize that updating the residential zoning code is part of a larger effort to address housing affordability in Portland. Expanding the kinds of housing choices that are available in our residential neighborhoods is an important step to give more people the opportunity to live close to schools, parks, and jobs at a variety of price points. But it’s only one part of a larger, coordinated effort to address the city’s housing crisis. City and regional leaders are addressing the housing crisis on making other fronts, including:
- A $258 million affordable housing bond passed on the November 2016 ballot that will create 1,300 newly affordable homes over the next several years.
- Newly created revenue streams for affordable housing, such as the construction excise tax and the accessory short-term rental fund.
- Affordable housing incentives for multi-family housing projects through the MULTE program.
- A collaborative effort to address homelessness through the Joint Office of Homeless by connecting thousands of people with housing, employment, health, and emergency services.
- An inclusionary housing program that requires affordable housing units in new multi-family residential development and provides additional incentives for creating affordable housing units.
- New tenant protections, including relocation costs for no-cause evictions or large rent increases.