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City Club of Eugene: Delivering On The American Dream: Housing Affordability In The 21st Century

Program Date: Feb. 12, 2021

Air Date: Feb. 15, 2021

This City Club program is the second in a three-part series on local housing issues.

From the City Club of Eugene:

Oregon’s Legislature took the historic step to re-legalize traditional “missing middle housing” in 2019, but the work to build housing diversity and more inclusive neighborhoods has just begun.

One promise of “missing middle housing” is that it can deliver “affordability by design”— that per-unit development costs can come down when we design more efficient housing units and share land costs among multiple homes. In Portland, where the City’s missing middle housing implementation was ahead of Oregon’s new state law, some community members raised the objection that affordability was not guaranteed by the policy changes. In response, housing advocates crafted Portland’s “Deeper Affordability” code amendments: an affordable housing density bonus equivalent to a $150,000 subsidy for each project. It turns out that accomplishing affordability is about doing the math and creating a path.

There is also more than one path to affordability and housing stability—and Eugene needs several paths to serve its workforce, families with middle- and lower-incomes, and changing household demographics. Cooperative ownership structures, community land trusts, development incentives, and design innovation all have a role to play.

Speakers will address housing development strategies, innovative land development and shared-ownership structures, and design-development approaches that have the potential to deliver increased affordability and create new paths to long-term housing stability.  


Dylan Lamar is owner and Architect-Developer at Cultivate, Inc. where he focuses on the design and development of both sustainable and affordable infill housing in Eugene, Oregon. He is also among the leading Passive House design consultants in the country, and has supported the design of numerous Passive House multifamily and commercial developments nationally since 2007.

Anne Fifield works as an Economic Strategies Manager for the City of Eugene. Prior to joining the City, she worked as an economic consultant and provided economic analysis for local and regional governments across the country.  Anne works in the City’s Community Development Division, which implements the City’s affordable housing and economic development initiatives. She is involved in housing initiatives, downtown revitalization, redevelopment projects, entrepreneurship initiatives, the City’s business loan programs, and other programs that affect the community’s economic well-being.

Jeff Albanese has been working with low-income and homeless communities in a variety of roles for more than ten years. He spent several years conducting ethnographic research with self-organized homeless encampments in the Pacific Northwest and in Michigan. He is currently working on ways to expand the development of permanently affordable, shared-equity housing.  Jeff earned a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Michigan, concentrating in social policy.