Affordable housing initiatives have kicked off in the Greater Oregon area. This is in the wake of many municipal zoning code changes. As well as the influx of state funding. The goal of the project is aimed to cater to Eugene’s varied housing needs, yet not everyone agrees on whose needs should be prioritized.
Affordable Housing Efforts
However, a multitude of recent state housing legislation has paved the way for broad affordable housing efforts. Representatives have invested over $896 million in addressing Oregon’s housing crisis. This was during a 2021 Oregon legislative session.
In fact, Eugene does face a housing crisis of its own. This is due to the expensive housing and low wages in comparison to state averages. The UO architecture and urban design instructor and Better Housing Together founding director Kaarin Knudson has said.
Affordable Housing: Low Minimum Wage is a Factor
The National Low Income Housing Commission put out a report that a minimum wage worker in Eugene has to work 57 hours per week to afford a one-bedroom apartment. 1,606 people are homeless in Lane County as of 2020. This is according to Lane County’s Point-in-Time report.
In addition, a lack of middle housing, like duplexes and cottage clusters has contributed to this crisis.
In fact, the local projects come in just before stark changes to zoning codes across the state. This, in fact, allows for more middle housing.
Moreover, on June 23, the Oregon legislature passed SB 8. In fact, this does require municipal governments to allow affordable housing in lands not zoned for residential use.
Afforable Housing: Housing Diversity
Requiring cities with populations over 25,000, including Eugene, Oregon HB 2001 allow duplexes, triplexes, quadplexes, cottage clusters, and townhouses in residential areas traditionally zoned for single-family homes. Until June 30, 2022, the bill gives municipalities time to incorporate housing diversity into their zoning codes. Eugene is mostly zoned to accommodate single-family houses. This is according to its zoning map and the city’s current zoning code limits