Useful news on housing abundance, diversity and affordability

Here are some posts from the last year that we’ve appreciated.

Where growth happens: Development in cities, delays on the edge by Metro (Feb. 12, 2016)

Expanding the urban growth boundary doesn’t answer the region’s housing shortage unless enough people are interested in living on the edge. This short piece by the regional government uses Google Street View to show how many recent expansions remain vacant even as there’s a severe housing shortage in city centers.

Israel Bayer and Jes Larson: Getting Real About Housing and Homelessness interviewed by Steph Routh and Justin Buri, Why Isn’t Anyone Talking about This? podcast (May 27, 2016)

Two leading Portland housing advocates talk frankly and in concrete detail about the Portlanders who’ve been forced off the bottom of the local housing ladder, and what to do about it.

How Anti-Growth Sentiment, Reflected in Zoning Laws, Thwarts Equality by Conor Dougherty, New York Times (July 3, 2016)

“When zoning laws get out of hand, economists say, the damage to the American economy and society can be profound. Studies have shown that laws aimed at things like ‘maintaining neighborhood character’ or limiting how many unrelated people can live together in the same house contribute to racial segregation and deeper class disparities. They also exacerbate inequality by restricting the housing supply in places where demand is greatest.”

YIMBY 2016 Keynote speech by Sara Maxana, Seattle for Everyone (July 5, 2016)

How can we humanize stories of people coming to a new city — which is the basic process behind the urban growth cities like Seattle are experiencing? How do we build bridges to single family homeowners and create a more welcoming environment for newcomers?

Exclusionary zoning robs our cities of their best qualities by Dan Bertolet, Sightline Institute (April 20, 2016)

Excessive “can’t build that here” laws drive up housing prices, segregate neighborhoods by class, kill economic opportunity and lock good schools to people who need them most.

Affordable-housing alliance to City: Legalize “Missing Middle” in bikeable neighborhoods by Michael Andersen, BikePortland (April 22, 2016)

As Portlanders debate ways to deal with the city’s continuing surge of housing prices, a coalition of local affordable-housing developers and service providers says Portland can’t afford to continue banning so-called “missing middle” housing from most of the city.

Novick: more ‘missing middle’ homes needed by Jim Redden, Portland Tribune (March 17, 2016)

Commissioner Steve Novick calls for Portland to re-allow townhomes, duplexes, triplexes, quads and 1–2 story courtyard apartments in residential neighborhoods that were commonly developed before current zoning restrictions were put in place. This would would be increase density without overpowering existing homes, and create alternatives to million-dollar homes in close-in neighborhoods.

Could it work here? How Seattle’s big new housing compromise came together by Michael Andersen, BikePortland (March 15, 2016)

How social-justice advocates, tenants, environmentalists, businesses and the development industry came together in Seattle to address rising housing costs through a political compromise that would boost support for affordable housing and generally increase housing supply throughout the city.

As state law passes, the fight for affordable proximity moves to City Hall by Michael Andersen, BikePortland (March 4, 2016)

After years of advocacy efforts, the State of Oregon just relaxed its prohibition on ‘inclusionary zoning.’ Now it’s up to the City of Portland whether, how, and where to implement this tool locally in support of affordable housing

Minimum parking requirements can neutralize inclusionary zoning by Tony Jordan, Portland Shoupistas (March 2, 2016)

An analysis of how mandatory ‘housing for cars’ in the form of minimum parking requirements drives up costs of housing for people.

Advocate! Tell the city how to change residential infill rules by Michael Andersen, BikePortland (Dec. 18, 2015)

This post serves as a compendium to several pieces Michael Andersen has written about ways Portland could change zoning rules to support more affordable, bikeable, walkable, and transit-friendly neighborhoods.