Will new middle housing be affordable?

There is a difference between true “Affordable Housing” and “naturally occurring affordable housing.” Affordable Housing is housing that is directly subsidized by an organization or the government. This housing usually has waitlists and serves people with specific income ranges and housing needs. Naturally occurring affordable housing is market-rate housing that is usually older, smaller, or both. Newly constructed middle housing is anticipated to be sold or rented at market rate, and it will have a wide range of prices. New housing, however, tends to have a higher price tag than older housing, simply because it’s new. A new house that is very similar to a house 30 years old is likely to command a higher price, because of that lack of wear and tear. The newer house will have a higher up-front cost but will have lower maintenance costs. Middle housing can be ‘affordable by design.’ Middle housing tends to be relatively small, which leads to lower operating and long-term maintenance costs. A 1,500 square foot house is likely to cost its occupants much less than a 2,500 square foot house. There’s less square footage to heat, a smaller roof to maintain, less exterior space to paint. The cost of housing includes maintenance costs, not just the upfront price. As part of implementation of House Bill 2001, the City will be required to consider ways to increase the affordability of middle housing. We know that housing affordability is an issue of importance for our community, as has been reiterated during the public engagement for this project. The Planning Commission’s recommended code amendments include incentives for lower-cost and Affordable Housing. For more information about the proposed Land Use Code incentives, visit the Guide to the Planning Commission Recommendation. Incentives beyond the scope of the project and the Land Use Code, including an Anti-Displacement Plan, will be pursued through the Housing Implementation Pipeline process 

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1. What is House Bill 2001? Why are you calling it the “Middle Housing” project?
2. What parts of Eugene will be affected by HB 2001?
3. What is a “zone” and how do I find out the zoning of a specific property?
4. Can I still build a single-family home?
5. Some properties have CC&Rs (Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions). Does HB 2001 override CC&Rs? How do I know if a property has CC&Rs?
6. If House Bill 2001 rules are written for the entire state, how do we make sure the implementation meets Eugene’s specific needs?
7. Has any other city or state done this before?
8. Who are the decision makers in this process?
9. What is a “roundtable”? How were the Boards and Commissions, Local Partners and Equity Roundtable groups formed?
10. What is the Healthy Democracy Panel? Does the panel have decision-making authority?
11. When and how will you involve the general public? How can neighborhood associations or other groups get involved?
12. The website and Public Involvement Plan talk about equity. What does social and racial equity have to do with housing policy?
13. What if I have concerns with the requirements of House Bill 2001?
14. Will new middle housing be affordable?
15. Doesn’t new market-rate housing cause gentrification, so prices in the neighborhood increase?
16. Can the City require that new middle housing units be affordable to people in certain income ranges?
17. Are there ways for the City to provide incentives or other strategies to make middle housing more affordable?
18. How else will the City’s proposed middle housing standards address City equity and affordability goals?
19. Is increased regulation of middle housing beneficial in creating more housing opportunities?
20. What else can the City do to support development of housing affordable to people with limited means?
21. What is Senate Bill 458/Middle Housing Land Division?
22. How does SB 458 relate to the Middle Housing project?
23. Does Senate Bill 458 only apply to new construction?
24. How would middle housing land division work if the City allowed detached middle housing units?
25. What is the difference between a partition and Senate Bill 458?
26. Could I add an ADU on a lot to my unit of Middle Housing?
27. If I owned a plex through middle housing land division, could I add additions to my house? Such as increasing the square footage?
28. Does SB 458 require local jurisdictions to approve vertical divisions (i.e. divisions in which one or more units of middle housing is not on the ground floor)?