Oregon Is Attempting To Tackle The Affordable Housing Issue With Legislature

Andrew Wagner

Oregon zoning law has positive effects for families that cannot afford current day housing prices.

Oregon's zoning law is the newest approach to tackling the nationwide shortage of affordable housing, according to The Wall Street Journal.

In June, Oregon's state legislature passed a zoning law requiring cities of 25,000 people or more to allow two, three, and four-unit residential buildings in neighborhoods of single-family homes. The new construction frees up older and cheaper housing stock and allows multiples homes to be built on land that was previously designated for only one.

Homeowners in the areas were the zoning law is allowed are concerned about increased traffic, blocked sunlight, and the effect on their property value. "It’s just a concern that it’s going to change neighborhoods citywide without much [local] say about it,” said Emily Semple, a city councilor in the city of Eugene, Oregon who opposed the state law.

Although, the main argument for rezoning is that regardless of the price of the housing, adding more of it will free up the older and cheaper housing stock. “A builder is [now] going to say, I can build two or three more affordable homes on the same property,” said Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek, the rezoning bill’s chief architect.

Housing prices have increased far more than wages have increased in the same periods, and as a result, many individuals and families cannot find affordable housing. Oregon is attempting to tackle this issue with rezoning laws that allow more housing to be constructed and available at an affordable cost.

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