Middle Housing

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

Project Background

Eighty percent of residential zoning in Eugene is designated for single-family homes, yet young adults, smaller families, and the growing population of elderly need housing options that increase access to public transportation and services reduce maintenance costs and provide more social opportunities. The Eugene Middle Housing Project will revise the Land Use Code to improve housing choices in the short term and affordability in the long term for Eugene residents.

In 2019, the Oregon Legislature passed House Bill 2001, requiring cities to allow more types of housing in residential areas, particularly in more traditionally single-family neighborhoods where

Project Background

Eighty percent of residential zoning in Eugene is designated for single-family homes, yet young adults, smaller families, and the growing population of elderly need housing options that increase access to public transportation and services reduce maintenance costs and provide more social opportunities. The Eugene Middle Housing Project will revise the Land Use Code to improve housing choices in the short term and affordability in the long term for Eugene residents.

In 2019, the Oregon Legislature passed House Bill 2001, requiring cities to allow more types of housing in residential areas, particularly in more traditionally single-family neighborhoods where housing choices are limited. Revising Eugene’s Land Use Code to comply with House Bill 2001 will shape how our community develops and expand opportunities for where people can choose to live and what type of home they live in, and we want to hear from you! The Land Use Code will be amended to allow middle housing in residential areas by June 2022.

What is “middle” housing?

Middle housing refers to a range of smaller attached or clustered housing types that are typically built at a similar scale as single-family detached houses. The term “missing middle” housing was coined by urban planner Daniel Parolek to refer to housing that fits in-between single-family homes and larger apartment buildings but that’s largely been missing from most cities’ neighborhood patterns for the last 70 years. Middle housing can include duplexes, triplexes, quadplexes, townhouses, cottage clusters, accessory dwelling units (ADUs), courtyard apartments, and other similar housing.

A Eugene Duplex


A Eugene Triplex


A Eugene Quadplex


Why is it missing?

Middle housing is considered “missing” because relatively little of this housing has been built since the 1940s. Middle housing was common in neighborhoods in most communities prior to World War II. There are many local examples of middle housing in Eugene’s prewar neighborhoods. "Redlining” and other discriminatory lending practices were used to exclude non-white residents from many of these neighborhoods. Post-war prosperity and federal policies led to a building boom that ushered in an age of auto-dependent suburban development with large areas devoted to only single-family homes on large lots. Middle housing types were prohibited or significantly limited in single-family neighborhoods through zoning codes that categorized them as “multifamily housing”. Even today, a large percentage of Eugene’s neighborhoods do not allow most middle housing as an outright use. Meanwhile, in multifamily areas, developers generally build larger and denser housing such as apartment complexes. As a result, currently, most residents must choose between detached single-family homes or apartments.

For more information about House Bill 2001, check out the HB 2001 Fact Sheets or visit the project webpage.

We Want To Know What You Think!

Help guide the process by using the "Share your thoughts" tool below. You can also share your middle housing story and ask questions. Visit the "Project Updates" tool for up to date project happenings!

You will be asked to register or log in to your user account before providing your feedback. If you need some help with the registration process please read this guide

  • From the Consultants: Moving into the Code Writing Phase

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    supporting image

    Thanks to a grant from the Department of Land Conservation and Development, we were able to hire a consultant team to partner with to implement House Bill 2001. Now that we're moving into the "Code Writing" phase, we have an update from them, directly to you! Our first "From the Consultants" is below:

    "The City’s Consulting Team has been hard at work, coordinating closely with City staff, members of the Planning Commission, and participants in the City’s outreach processes to evaluate a variety of middle housing code issues and concepts and start to prepare potential changes to the City’s Development Code to implement middle housing legislation. We have completed the “Design and Code Concepts” phase of the project and are actively working on the “Code Writing” phase. We’re still evaluating and discussing different options, so the cake isn’t nearly baked yet. But we are getting closer to making and reviewing some preliminary recommendations.

    As we start to draft possible code changes, we are building on the concepts of whether to simply Allow middle housing, or whether to Encourage or Incentivize it. We’re also considering the City’s triple bottom line of sustainability, as well as a variety of other community values, goals, objectives, and policies. In doing so, we are relying on the substantial feedback provided by the City’s recent online survey, as well as meetings with Healthy Democracy, Equity Roundtable, Boards and Commissions/Local Partners RoundTable, and the Planning Commission. That feedback leaned heavily towards the Encourage and/or Incentivize options, although the feedback and approaches may vary, depending on what we’re looking at (e.g., building lot sizes vs. building heights vs. parking).

    We’re currently identifying recommendations related to specific things that the Code regulates, including standards related to the size of property on which a given type of housing can be built, how much onsite (or “off-street”) parking can be required, how far buildings must be “set back” from the edges of the property, and how much of a property can be covered by buildings or other impervious surfaces, among a variety of other issues.

    We’ll be presenting some initial findings and suggestions to the City’s Planning Commission at meetings on April 13 and 26, and then refining those recommendations for more discussion in May. The refinements will benefit from the outcome of outreach meetings and developer focus group meetings also happening in April, as well as feedback from other community members. We’re slated to provide a full set of more detailed recommendations in June. Soon after that, the Consultant’s work will be done but City staff will lead community members through additional review, discussion and refinements of our recommendations during the following several months.

    Thanks for taking the time to check out our update and to follow and participate in the Middle Housing Code Update process! We’ll continue to work closely with City staff and decision-makers to provide more updates as we move forward.

    All the best,

    Your Middle Housing Consulting Team

    Angelo Planning Group (Matt Hastie and Kate Rogers)

    ECONorthwest (Becky Hewitt and Tyler Bump)

    SERA Architects (Ben Weber, Emma-Quin Smith and Ross Determan)"

  • Recapping February Engagement--Report Now Available!

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    supporting image

    Thank you to the 741 community members who took the Middle Housing Survey! Preliminary survey results were shared at the March 9, 2021, Planning Commission work session and a full report of all February outreach is now available here. The report shares survey results, RoundTable summaries, and recaps events, meetings, and social media outreach. February was a busy month and there's even more outreach happening throughout April. Visit the key dates and project webpage for Planning Commission, RoundTable, Healthy Democracy, and other meeting dates--stay tuned!

  • Hearing From the Equity Roundtable

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    One of the groups formed to provide input on the Middle Housing code changes is the Equity Roundtable. At the March 9th, 2021 Planning Commission work session, Commissioners heard from Equity Roundtable participant Isis. Watch the video above to hear from Isis about her perspective and work on the roundtable.

  • Land Use & Housing Economics: what drives the cost of housing?

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    The last of our Facebook Live events took place on March 4th live on our Facebook and focused on the connections between land use and housing costs. We were joined by a panel of 2 local experts: Kaarin Knudsen, whose total involvement with land use is far too vast to list. Some of her current works range from teaching at the University of Oregon, principal & partner for LARCO / KNUDSON, and acting as a founding director/member of the steering committee for Better Housing Together. Our second guest speaker was Dylan Lamar, who currently acts as an Architect and Energy Consultant for Cultivate. He is also a member of numerous housing-related groups such as the GBIG and Passive Housing Designers and Consultants. It is available to watch on our Facebook and below.

  • A New Way to Engage: Meeting in a Box

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    A new tool we developed is a “Meeting in a Box”: a set of materials that helps folks guide their own meeting with a neighborhood association, community group, friends, and family to provide input on the Middle Housing project. The materials include a Discussion Guide, Middle Housing Walking Tours, and Feedback Forms. If you are interested in sharing these resources, we are accepting feedback until March 28th. Please share with your networks, friends, and family!

  • Land Use & the Climate

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    The third of our Facebook Live events took place on February 18th live on our Facebook(External link)(External link) and focused on the connections between land use and sustainability. We were joined by a panel of 3 local experts: local private-sector planner and City of Eugene Sustainability Commissioner Kelsey Zlevor, Environmental and Climate Justice Coordinator at the Eugene-Springfield NAACP Aimee Okotie-Oyekan, and City of Eugene Sustainability Manager Chelsea Clinton. It is available to watch on our Facebook and below.
    Throughout the rest of February, we will be having more live events that focus on housing and costs, as well as housing and the student perspective! Keep an eye out for updates on our Facebook (External link)(External link)and Instagram(External link)(External link) when exactly these will be taking place, and we hope to see you there!


  • Land Use & Equity: What are the Connections?

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    The second of our Facebook Live events took place on February 10th live on our Facebook(External link) and focused on the connections between land use and equity. We were joined by a panel of 2 local experts, University of Oregon Law Professor Dr. Sarah Adams-Schoen and City of Eugene Human Rights and Equity Analyst Fabio Andrade. It is available to watch on our Facebook and below.
    Throughout the rest of February, we will be having more live events that focus on housing and the environment, housing and costs, as well as housing and the student perspective! Keep an eye out for updates on our Facebook (External link)and Instagram(External link) when exactly these will be taking place, and we hope to see you there!


  • Where the Code Meets the Road: Land Use and Transportation

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    We are excited to announce and invite you to join us this February for a series of live virtual events that discuss what land use has to do with a variety of different topics. The first of these events took place on February 4th live on our Facebook and focused on the connections between land use and transportation. We were joined by a panel of 3 local experts, Reed Dunbar, AICP and Senior Transportation Planner for Eugene, Andrew Martin, Development Planner at Lane Transit District, and Shane Rhodes, Transportation Options Coordinator for Eugene. It is available to watch on our Facebook and below.
    Throughout the rest of February, we will be having more live events that focus on housing and equity, housing and the environment, housing and costs, as well as housing and the student perspective! Keep an eye out for updates on our Facebook and Instagram when exactly these will be taking place, and we hope to see you there!


  • State Requirements and Guiding Values and Principles from Outreach

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    The administrative rules implementing the requirements of House Bill 2001 (Middle Housing in Medium and Large Cities, Oregon Administrative Rules Chapter 660, Division 46) establish, at minimum, code standards cities need to implement to comply with the requirements of House Bill 2001. The administrative rules were developed and refined over the course of a year by four groups of planning and development experts: the HB 2001 technical advisory committee, HB 2001 rulemaking advisory committee, Department of Land Conservation and Development staff, and were adopted at the December 9, 2020, Land Conservation and Development Commission meeting. The technical and rulemaking advisory committees included representatives from local jurisdictions, planners, developers, housing advocates, and others. Meeting packets and recordings and a full participant list are on DLCD’s Rulemaking web page.

    An introduction to the minimum standards was given to the Planning Commission at their January 12, 2021 meeting. Additionally, on January 12th, Planning Commission reviewed a set of Guiding Values and Principles from our Fall outreach to guide the outreach and implementation process moving forward. These Guiding Values and Principles were informed by our Equity Roundtable, Local Partner Roundtables, student outreach, and Healthy Democracy Panel.

    An in-depth presentation on the minimum standards and model code will be given at the upcoming February 1, 2021 Planning Commission Work Session.

  • Equity Roundtable Kicks Off

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    The Equity Roundtable held its first meeting on November 19th. The Roundtable included representatives from organizations representing underserved communities and serves to provide an equity lens to the project. Representatives have been asked about worst outcomes and best outcomes of allowing more housing types in more places. This feedback will be used in addition to the feedback we receive through the Boards and Commissions Roundtable, Local Partners Roundtable, and Healthy Democracy Panel to form guiding values and principles for this phase of the project. The Roundtable will meet a total of 4 times and will have their next meeting in December.