A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

More middle housing? Apparently not yet

Written October 16th, 2019 by Hasso Hering

The first house being built in the Takena Estates subdivision as it looked on Monday, Oct. 14.

The 2019 Oregon legislature wanted more “middle housing” to be built in areas zoned for single families, but so far in Albany there’s no sign it’s getting its wish.

There is, for example, the Takena Estates subdivision on the western edge of Albany, approved by the planning commission in 2010, with streets and utilities installed in 2018. Now the first house is under construction, as I noticed on a bike ride Monday.

It’s a traditional single-family house, three bedrooms and two baths, with 1,934 square feet including the garage, according to the building permit taken out by the developer, Salem-based Empire Builders of Oregon.

The city permit, which cost $12,807 in fees to obtain, says the construction of that house is valued at about $193,000. Last time I checked the website of that subdivision, houses there were to be offered starting at $299,000.

The legislature gave cities a couple of years to enact new code language to provide for duplexes and other multi-family housing — so-called middle housing — in single-family zones, and that task hasn’t even started in Albany or anywhere else.

So the development of single-family subdivisions continues just as if House Bill 2001 had never been passed. (hh)


6 responses to “More middle housing? Apparently not yet”

  1. Benji Cato says:

    Thank you for bringing this subject to light. It is very interesting. It looks like it will be a slow process to make these kind of homes available to those who need them. I hope your article helps to change this. Benji Cato

  2. Terry says:

    Creating housing is not the governments job.
    The market will do that if government will just get out of the way!

    • Peg Richner says:

      Government, in its patent lack of wisdom, attempts to do what a free people would not willingly choose to do.

      “Were we directed from Washington when to sow, and when to reap, we should soon want bread.”

      – Thomas Jefferson, Autobiography [1821]

  3. hj.anony1 says:

    Judging by the picture…..
    I didn’t realize “Columbus Day” was a universal day off!

    I MUST bend the ear of my boss!

  4. Zeeknos says:

    Politics aside, the house is median size in the market, prices somewhat under market but not out of alignment with the mixed architecture of this older neighborhood. That is what the market does best, like most human endeavors: path of least resistance – to profits in this case.

    Walls went up in a week, trusses are laying on top now. Looks like several green squares on the subdivision sign. Could mean more to follow.

    There have been some good stories about how this subdivision came to be and more will follow once occupants move in and find concrete, asphalt, tires and whatever else is buried there once the Oregon winters percolate through the uncompacted fill dirt for a few years.


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