Right now, the best way that you can join the fight for abundant, diverse, & affordable housing options in Portland is to help make sure that we are ready to turn out strong for smart land-use rule changes that will be considered this fall-winter. Here’s your spring-summer 2017 checklist:
1. Is your organization part of the Portland for Everyone coalition yet? If not, join us here!
2. It isn’t “renter’s rights or supply” – WE NEED BOTH. Sign on to reject false choices, and demand a full suite of housing solutions.
1. Are you all signed up to testify at Portland City Council, host a house party, and/or get our e-updates? Click here to choose the ways you want to be involved.
2. Make sure you and your family, neighbors, and friends have shared your Portland Housing Story via this website. We will also be making sure that these stories reach City Council, and you can also check the box if you might want to testify yourself.
3. Check our events page, attend an event coming up near you!
4. Scope our “For Advocates” resources page, and find some inspiration you can use to pen your own article or op-ed in a local publication, or fact-check a friend online.
5. Take a friend on a self-guided “Missing Middle” walking tour through historic Ladd’s Addition and along Madison just north of Hawthorne. You will be amazed at all the small & discreet housing types tucked into some of Portland’s most desirable neighborhoods!
Portland is at a critical crossroads. Unlike some cities, Portland still has choices within reach to become an equitable, affordable place. One set of choices will strengthen the ability of all to live, work, and play throughout Portland, with increased access to reliable transportation and open spaces. Another set of choices will squeeze those of middle and low incomes out of the city and increase homelessness, with disproportionate impact on people of color, immigrants and refugees, and the elderly, taking them away from employment centers, transportation options, and their communities. Together, we will encourage City Council and other civic leaders to make inclusive and equitable planning, zoning, and funding decisions. Key decisions to be made in 2016-2017 will help determine Portland’s housing supply for a generation to come, such as:
- Revisions to Portland’s comprehensive plan and zoning maps, which determine where Portland will allow single-family, multi-family, and mixed-use development for the next 20+ years.
- A major zoning code update for single-family zones, potentially allowing more diverse housing in all neighborhoods.
- A complete re-write of mixed-use zoning regulations impacting housing and business uses in centers and corridors.
- A revision of Portland’s Transportation System Plan, covering public transit priorities, bicycle/pedestrian routes, neighborhood parking plans, and capital project planning priorities.
- Adoption and implementation of comprehensive plan policies, regulations, and investments to prevent and mitigate involuntary displacement from neighborhoods.
Here are some summaries of the trains running through the station (each individual project is summarized below):
Residential Infill Project
This project is on a fast track, as directed partly by the Mayor’s office. The Residential Infill Project will decide what’s allowed to be built in/ what’s considered “compatible” with existing Single-Dwelling (or “Single-Family”) neighborhoods (all areas zoned R2.5-R20). The Residential Infill Project Stakeholder Advisory Committee (known as the RIP SAC) is considering strategies to address the scale and design of new construction, narrow lots, and alternative housing options, among others. Portland for Everyone staff and volunteers are speaking with people from neighborhoods all over Portland, and sharing opportunities for residents to tell the city that we support increasing housing choices, and offering more affordable housing options in all of Portland’s vibrant residential neighborhoods. Learn more & get involved
Inclusionary Zoning Implementation
In March, the Oregon Legislature passed a law that, for the first time, allows cities to use inclusionary zoning as a tool to provide more affordable housing. Housing Land Advocates has a great summary of inclusionary zoning, here. The City of Portland has begun work on developing a plan that will require developers to build affordable housing units in predetermined areas of the City. A panel of experts was recently convened, and will present initial recommendations to Commissioner Saltzman in September, 2016. Timeline TBD – we will post here when we know more.
Mixed-Use Zones Project
Along commercial hubs and corridors, these “mixed-use areas”, and the zoning designed to implement them need to be defined – uses, scale, density, parking requirements… and on. This timeline will happen in parallel with the Comprehensive Plan mapping process.