Can the City require that new middle housing units be affordable to people in certain income ranges?

tate law does not allow jurisdictions to require all new middle housing to be affordable at a specific income level. Imposing affordability requirements on private development (known as “inclusionary zoning”) is allowed by Oregon law only for development with at least 20 units per building, and only if certain incentives are offered in exchange. This would also be prohibited by House Bill 2001 because it would almost certainly constitute an unreasonable cost that is not applied to single-family housing. The City could make density bonuses, lower parking ratios, or other code incentives that go beyond minimum compliance available only for development that meets certain affordability criteria but must allow middle housing subject to standards consistent with HB2001 regardless of pricing. New middle housing is likely to be affordable to a broader range of households than new single-family detached homes; however, it is very difficult to deliver new housing (of any form) that is affordable to the City’s lowest income residents without public subsidy. Even if it were legal, requiring middle housing to offer below-market rents or sales prices without providing public subsidy or incentives would likely make it impossible for the private market to develop. It would also mean that middle housing would face even greater obstacles compared to single family development. Nearly all for-profit developers would likely continue to build single family homes. Some non-profit or affordable housing builders would be able to build middle housing, but it would rarely be delivered by the private market. 

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1. What is House Bill 2001? Why are you calling it the “Middle Housing” project?
2. What parts of Eugene will be affected by HB 2001?
3. What is a “zone” and how do I find out the zoning of a specific property?
4. Can I still build a single-family home?
5. Some properties have CC&Rs (Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions). Does HB 2001 override CC&Rs? How do I know if a property has CC&Rs?
6. If House Bill 2001 rules are written for the entire state, how do we make sure the implementation meets Eugene’s specific needs?
7. Has any other city or state done this before?
8. Who are the decision makers in this process?
9. What is a “roundtable”? How were the Boards and Commissions, Local Partners and Equity Roundtable groups formed?
10. What is the Healthy Democracy Panel? Does the panel have decision-making authority?
11. When and how will you involve the general public? How can neighborhood associations or other groups get involved?
12. The website and Public Involvement Plan talk about equity. What does social and racial equity have to do with housing policy?
13. What if I have concerns with the requirements of House Bill 2001?
14. Will new middle housing be affordable?
15. Doesn’t new market-rate housing cause gentrification, so prices in the neighborhood increase?
16. Can the City require that new middle housing units be affordable to people in certain income ranges?
17. Are there ways for the City to provide incentives or other strategies to make middle housing more affordable?
18. How else will the City’s proposed middle housing standards address City equity and affordability goals?
19. Is increased regulation of middle housing beneficial in creating more housing opportunities?
20. What else can the City do to support development of housing affordable to people with limited means?
21. What is Senate Bill 458/Middle Housing Land Division?
22. How does SB 458 relate to the Middle Housing project?
23. Does Senate Bill 458 only apply to new construction?
24. How would middle housing land division work if the City allowed detached middle housing units?
25. What is the difference between a partition and Senate Bill 458?
26. Could I add an ADU on a lot to my unit of Middle Housing?
27. If I owned a plex through middle housing land division, could I add additions to my house? Such as increasing the square footage?
28. Does SB 458 require local jurisdictions to approve vertical divisions (i.e. divisions in which one or more units of middle housing is not on the ground floor)?