Up for Growth Action applauds Oregon lawmakers for clearing away barriers to development of crucial missing middle housing

Coalition helped pass model policy to dismantle exclusionary zoning and allow duplexes, other housing forms

July 1, 2019 | Up for Growth
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WASHINGTON, DC – Up for Growth Action applauds Oregon lawmakers for approving a first-in-the-nation policy to end exclusionary zoning and allow duplexes and other “middle housing” in areas currently restricted to single-family homes.

House Bill 2001, sponsored by House Speaker Tina Kotek, will end single-family-only zoning in the Portland-metro area and in Oregon’s larger cities, an important step in addressing Oregon’s severe shortage of homes. Up for Growth National Coalition’s research found that the state was short 155,000 homes, as measured from 2000 through 2015, a problem that is worsening as Portland and the surrounding area continue rapid growth. Up for Growth Action was part of a broad and diverse coalition advocating for this change.

"Up for Growth National Coalition’s Housing Underproduction in Oregon report provided the clarion call to increase housing supply and the Oregon Legislative Assembly delivered on that need," said Gwenn Baldwin, executive director of Oregon Smart Growth, Up for Growth Action's strategic partner in Oregon. "Speaker Kotek created smart, ground-breaking policy that should be adopted in every state."

The legislation allows duplexes in single-family zones within cities with more than 10,000 people. In cities of over 1,000 in Portland-metro and other Oregon cities with more than 25,000 people, it would legalize up to four dwellings per lot, including fourplexes, cottage clusters and town homes.

“Oregon is blazing a housing policy trail for other states,” said Mike Kingsella, Executive Director of Up for Growth Action and Up for Growth National Coalition. “Up for Growth Action will closely monitor the implementation of this new law and its contribution to Oregon’s housing supply, and we will work to spread this bold new policy to other states.”

The coalition supporting HB 2001 included 1000 Friends of Oregon, AARP Oregon, the Oregon Association of Realtors, the Oregon League of Conservation Voters, the Coalition of Communities of Color, Proud Ground, Rose Community Development, Oregon Smart Growth, the Housing Alliance, the Oregon Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, the Oregon Homebuilders Association, CASA of Oregon, Environment Oregon, NEDCO, Willamette Neighborhood Housing Services, the Street Trust, OSPIRG, Better Housing Together, the Safe Routes Partnership, Habitat for Humanity, Housing Land Advocates, the Oregon Environmental Council, OAASIS, SATF Oregon, and Business for a Better Portland.

For a copy of the press release, click here.