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Housing Choice

More Diverse, Affordable, and Accessible Choices

Oregonians need a variety of housing choices. Today, too many Oregonians face high housing costs because their options are limited to buying detached single-unit homes or renting multi-unit apartments . At the same time, the makeup of Oregon households is shifting; more than a quarter of households today are a single person living alone.

People's housing needs change throughout their lives. For example, a young adult may need an affordable place to live, a retired person might have limited income, or a multigenerational family may require a larger space. By creating more housing choice in our cities, these households can find options that allow them to stay in their neighborhoods, close to family, friends, services, and support systems.

To address these needs, housing options like accessory dwelling units (ADUs), manufactured and modular homes, and middle housing (plexes, townhomes, and cottage clusters) play an important role. These smaller home types can provide more affordable and accessible housing choices for people. You can find additional resources, including model code, case studies, and historical and regulatory context in the sections below.

Middle Housing Background and Context

Middle Housing, codified in Oregon Revised Statute 197.758, aims to provide Oregonians with more housing choices, especially housing choices people at all income levels can afford. This housing choice legislation required updated local laws that previously restricted the types of housing people could build. It now guarantees the right of property owners to build "missing middle" housing on any residential lot.

While most cities in Oregon already allow duplexes in certain circumstances, Oregon Revised Statute 197.758, requires Oregon's medium-sized cities to allow duplexes on each lot or parcel zoned for residential use that allows for the development of single-family homes. In larger cities with population over 25,000, and cities within the Portland Metro region, duplexes, triplexes, quadplexes, cottage clusters, and townhouses are allowed outright in residential areas. These housing types can be more affordable and meet the housing needs of many younger people, older people, and working people who can't afford a large, detached house of their own. Development of middle housing provides a wider variety of housing opportunities, ensuring a diverse and inclusive housing market in Oregon.

Middle Housing Model Code

DLCD wrote model code to help guide the development of duplexes in cities with populations between 10,000 and 25,000 that are outside Metro. They also wrote model code for development of all middle housing in large-sized cities (Non-Portland Metro Cities over 25,000 population, Portland Metro Cities over 1,000 population, and Portland Metro Counties) as part of House Bill 2001. You can find both model codes below in multiple formats.

Medium Cities
Large cities

Rules that outline "minimum compliance standards" for medium and large-sized cities for medium-sized cities (OAR 660-046) and large-sized cities (OAR 660-046-0200) that are updating local code to be compliant with HB 2001 can be viewed on the Oregon Secretary of State website.

Middle Housing Land Divisions

In the 2021 Legislative Session, the Legislature adopted SB 458, which enabled the division lots that allow middle housing to enable individual ownership of middle housing units. This law is codified in ORS 92.031 and requires local governments to allow these land divisions through an expedited process. DLCD staff have prepared guidance documents describing this process and responding to common questions from local governments.

Accessory Dwelling Units

Accessory Dwelling Units are separate housing units with their own kitchens and bathrooms, located on the same property as the primary unit. They are also known as 'in-law units', 'granny flats', or 'bonus homes'. ADUs are an important housing option that can enhance housing affordability for both homeowners and renters while providing more housing choices within a community.

Senate Bill 2015 (2017), codified in ORS 197.312, requires that cities and counties of a certain population must permit ADUs in areas zoned for detached single-family dwellings. Local governments have the flexibility to regulate the siting and design of ADUs, as long as these regulations do not create 'unreasonable cost or delay' to their development.

To support local governments, DLCD staff created a model code for ADUs which includes guidance and best practices for developing ordinances that allow ADUs.

Manufactured and Prefabricated Homes

Manufactured and prefabricated homes reduce the cost of housing by assembling components of houses in factories and then transporting and assembling them on-site. Unlike traditional 'site-built' dwellings, which are built entirely on location, these homes benefit from off-site production, reducing construction time, labor, and complexity. As a result, the cost of building and the prices to homebuyers and renters are significantly lower.

State law includes various protections to allow the siting of manufactured and prefabricated homes in zones that allow detached single-family dwellings, either on an individual lot or in a manufactured home park. House Bill 4064 (2022) expanded these protections to ensure these homes can be sited in communities throughout Oregon. DLCD staff have prepared a guidance document describing these protections in greater detail.

Contact

Ethan Stuckmayer
Housing Services Division Manager
ethan.stuckmayer@dlcd.oregon.gov
Phone: 503-302-0937