Oregon House Passes Bill to Increase Housing Density

Oregon House Passes Bill to Increase Housing Density

The Oregon House passed HB 2001, a bill that prevents cities from the exclusive use of single-family housing. According to reporting by OPB, this first-in-the-nation measure passed on a bipartisan 43-16 vote and now moves to the Oregon Senate. HB 2001 follows closely behind Minneapolis which banned single-family housing in December.

“Fundamentally, the status quo in Oregon is not working for housing supply,” House Speaker Tina Kotek, D-Portland said.  “Our crisis is statewide, we don’t have enough housing for our communities and these communities are expected to grow.”

If the bill passes the Senate, HB 2001 would require cities larger than 25,000 to allow for duplexes, triplexes, and quads in neighborhoods that are currently zoned for single-family housing. And cities of 10,000 or more must allow for duplexes.

Opponents of the bill argue that creating more units would have little impact on affordability. Some are also concerned that these changes would affect a neighborhood’s character. While supporters of this bill argue that this would address the shortage of affordable units and provide a “middle” housing option that will be in the price range for a larger group of homeowners and renters.

According to Willamette Week, HB 2001 “faces uncertain support in the Oregon Senate. Republicans have blocked any bills from being considered today by ... denying Democrats a quorum. The bill is expected to need Republican support to pass in the Senate.”

If Oregon Senate Republicans don’t return by June 30, this bill and several others will die at the end of this legislative session.