Infill plan returns to City Council on Thursday

Civic Affairs

The median house in Portland is 1,500 square feet

Audit released on Portland Housing Bond

PORTLAND, Ore. (PORTLAND TRIBUNE) — The City Council will take up several proposed amendments to the Residential Infill Plan on Thursday, March 12.

The most controversial one will likely be the Deeper Affordability Bonus Amendment. It would allow up to six units on lots in single-family zones if half of them were affordable to households earning 60% or less of the area median family income.

The amendment would also offer size bonuses for qualifying structures, allowing them to be up to 6,000 square feet. The median house in Portland is 1,500 square feet.

The amendment was proposed by nonprofit affordable housing providers, including Habitat for Humanity. They argue it would help them produce more housing that lower-income families can afford in desirable parts of Portland.

The amendment is opposed by some neighborhood activists and preservationists. They say it will change the character of the city by encouraging the demolition and replacement of existing lower-cost homes with housing that is out of scale with the surrounding neighborhoods.

The plan would essentially rezone all single-family neighborhoods in Portland to encourage more and different kinds of housing for the 100,000 additional households expected to be here by 2035. As currently proposed, it allows more density required by HB 2001, which was approved by the 2019 Oregon Legislature. That bill allows duplexes on most lots and up to four units on portions of existing single-family neighborhoods.

The plan has been in the works for four years and has undergone numerous changes. It is unclear whether the council will hold any additional hearings on it before the final vote.

You can learn more about the plan at https://beta.portland.gov/bps/rip. 

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