From Sightline Daily – The Portland Plan: Down with McMansions, Up with Abundant Housing Options 

This article combines and adapts three articles by the Portland for Everyone coalition’s Michael Andersen. See the originals on this blog, and learn more about the group here. Portland’s approach shares similarities with the Seattle Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda recommendation to allow small duplexes and triplexes in single-family zones without letting property owners erect buildings larger than currently zoned.

Every month, Portland’s most beloved neighborhoods are moving further beyond the reach of typical homebuyers. …

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But the really odd thing is that on this lot, replacing one middle-class family with one rich one is just about the only thing a landowner is legally allowed to do.

When a city gets more desirable but isn’t allowed to add more places for people to sleep, this is what happens: the old homes don’t stay affordable. They just get priced up and up and up. …

There’s another possibility here: the city might decide to shrink the size of new homes but not make small multiplexes legal.

If that were to happen, it wouldn’t stop developers and landlords from finding ways to make a profit. It would mean that the only way they could make a profit is by replacing poor folks with middle-income folks and middle-income folks with rich folks.

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Full article here.