Gov. Brown signs first-in-nation housing law

Politics

This signing will happen later this afternoon in the Capitol

SALEM, Ore. (AP) – Lawmakers in Oregon hope the state can build its way out of a severe housing crisis.

Gov. Kate Brown signed a first-in-the nation law Thursday to encourage the development of duplexes, triplexes and other more affordable types of housing. Many local governments only allow for the development of large, single family homes typical of a suburb.

Speaker of the House Tina Kotek is the chief sponsor behind the law. The Portland Democrat says allowing different housing types is an important “first step” in addressing the state’s housing crisis.

Under the Oregon law, cities with more than 10,000 residents must now allow for the construction of some type of what’s known as “missing middle housing,” or housing types that are somewhere between high-rise apartments and single family homes.

Experts say a lack of housing options is partly behind high costs. State data shows Oregon only produced only 89 houses for every 100 families from 2000 to 2016.

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