Governor Signs Package of Housing Bills

Aug 8, 2019

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown signed a package of bills Thursday that she says will expand affordable housing opportunities in the state.

The most high-profile of the measures, HB 2001, will require many Oregon cities to allow so-called "middle housing" in single family neighborhoods. These are structures with two, three or four units. Some zoning regulations limit housing to detached, single-family homes. The bill will effectively override existing single-family zoning in order to allow the multi-family structures. The goal is to increase the housing stock in communities where housing affordability is an issue.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, a Democrat, signs a bill that will require larger cities to allow "middle housing" in areas currently zoned for single-family homes.
Credit Chris Lehman / KLCC

“I am just so pleased that we’ve been able to make significant investments that will help every family have a warm, safe, dry place to call home,” said Brown during a bill-signing ceremony at the capitol, where she was surrounding by housing advocates.

Those included Lincoln County Commissioner Claire Hall, who also serves on the Oregon Housing Stability Council. “Oregon has not kept up with the demand for housing for a long, long time," said Hall. "And the state finally is stepping up and taking a significant role in closing the gap.”

The bills were among the highest priority legislation for majority Democrats in Salem this year, but they almost didn’t pass due to a political standoff over unrelated legislation. All four of the measures signed by the governor were approved in the closing weekend of the legislative session.