Tag Archives: Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability

Whoops: Portland city officials over-estimate (by 5 times) the number of new homes they expected an infill project to create

Wonder how long it will take Portland bureaucrats to create affordable homes to solve their homeless crisis with this kind of “planning?”

From Oregon Live: Portland planners publicly overstated by five times the number of new homes they expect a controversial infill plan could create over the next two decades.

City officials boasted that their plan projects “the addition of 24,000 units in triplexes or fourplexes” by the year 2035.

But the city’s own forecasts paint a much different picture.

Planners expect a net of fewer than 4,000 new units to be built in residential neighborhoods citywide under their infill plan, according to numbers obtained by The Oregonian/OregonLive and not previously disclosed by the city.

What’s more, the plan isn’t expected to deliver those new homes to the inner eastside neighborhoods as planners have stated, an analysis of those numbers shows. Instead, it would disproportionately steer a majority of new units to poorer neighborhoods east of 82nd Avenue, where the risk of displacing residents is high.

It’s not clear which number might ultimately prove more accurate.

But planners have trumpeted the higher figure of new homes when they talk about ways to offer more housing options to keep prices affordable while using the lower figure to analyze specific neighborhood impacts and the potential that vulnerable residents could get pushed out to make way for the new homes.

The infill proposal could become official city policy by this summer. The city’s volunteer Planning and Sustainability Commission is expected to vote on the proposal Tuesday before referring it to the City Council for final action.

While forecasting home construction is an inexact science, city officials acknowledge they haven’t adequately communicated their infill projections. Nothing in their work was intended to be misleading, they say.

“We need to be more articulate,” said Donnie Oliveira, a spokesman for Portland’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability.

Planners say their overarching objective isn’t to hit a quota for new infill but rather to create more choices about the types of homes available in residential neighborhoods. Changing the zoning code is the only way to add new housing options, they say, even if it takes several decades for developers to build significantly more infill units.

“It’s a major step in removing the regulatory barriers, but not the market barriers,” said Morgan Tracy, a lead planner on the project.

Read the whole story here.

DCG

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