The Residential Infill Project

Overview, updates, and what to expect!

Source: Planetizen

Portlanders have experienced firsthand the impact of population growth in the city, whether you’ve sat bumper-to-bumper heading into the city or endured a 2-hour wait for your favorite downtown eatery. By 2035 the city is estimated to increase the number of households by 1.4%… that’s 100,000 households!

Aside from the growing population, the housing market has also been leaning towards building larger and more luxury housing. Due to these changes, city officials have proposed and passed the Residential Infill Project, which will allow duplexes, triplexes, and fourplexes to be built under restrictions of size. 

These changes aim to address community concerns of housing costs and the diversity of housing options by designing smaller homes that fit Portland neighborhood layouts, creating more housing without overcrowding, and creating clear guidelines for future developments. 

How will this affect the market and current design trends in the Portland Metro? Let’s dig in! 

Source: Sightline Institute

The (Fingers-Crossed) Positive Outcomes!

The Sightline Institute raved, calling Portland’s Residential Infill Project the “most pro-housing reform to low-density zones in US history”! 

The project’s effort aims to address the affordability of housing across Portland neighborhoods by building a range of housing options with affordable units. Although the changes will reduce the average size of each unit, it will allow for more units on each plot of land. They may be slightly smaller than the average family home the project claims the proposed homes are still “family-sized”.

The March update from confirmed the project will include the “deeper affordability bonus and the historic resource demolition disincentive”, which aims to protect historic properties and areas of Portland from demolition during the project’s duration.


Source: Miro Medium
A Few Other Considerations

Mayor Wheeler praised the project for offering “significant bonus[es] for affordable housing developers, given the significant need”, and he’s absolutely right. The only concern I raise is the possibility that builders may avoid putting money into these builds if they can’t build luxury, higher priced styles. We know that recent trends have shown the housing market leaning towards luxury builds. I am curious to see how the Residential Infill Project will affect the market. 
An additional resource for any concerns about how the project may affect your property or neighborhood, review the Portland Gov’s interactive map of proposed changes.

Where Does This Leave the Rose City?

In the effort to maintain community involvement, Residential Infill Project staff formed a committee of Portland residents, developers, contractors, and business owners to discuss pros and cons of this project. With feedback from the community, the project staff tailored the project details to attempt to fit the community’s needs. 
This project will officially go into effect on August 1st, 2021. How do you think the project will affect the community and Portland housing market? Head over to my Instagram and let’s discuss!