Does Oregon Have The Answer To High Housing Costs?
The Wall Street Journal’s Will Parker dives into Oregon’s decision to eliminate restrictive zoning policies.
BEND, Ore.—Oregon is emerging as a testing ground for a new approach to solving the nationwide shortage of affordable housing.
The state legislature in June passed a zoning law requiring cities of 25,000 people or more to allow two-, three- and four-unit residential buildings in neighborhoods of single-family homes.
New construction frees up older and cheaper housing stock, allowing multiple homes on land where only one was permitted before, proponents of rezoning say. That will produce more homes at lower prices.
In Bend, which sits on the Oregon high desert and is one of the fastest-growing small cities in the country, much of what the new zoning law requires is already under way. The city started liberalizing its building codes more than three years ago. Early results there suggest the new zoning encouraged more building and could help start to alleviate the housing shortage.
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