Testify on or before November 29th!

Make a difference! Submit testimony, short or long, to tell the Eugene Planning Commissioners what you want the City to do to help reduce the housing cost burden on Eugene’s lower-income households and to protect vulnerable renters from displacement and gentrification.

JWN members: Click to learn the extreme deregulation in the JWN.

Step 2. Write an email with your recommendation for what the City should do. Include your name, address, and telephone number. Include the following in the message heading:
Subject: “Testimony on CA 21-1 Middle Housing code amendments.”

Step 3. Send your email no later than today, November 29th, 5:00 PM, to the following addresses:
TO:  middlehousingtestimony@eugene-or.gov 
CC:  mayorcouncilandcitymanager@ci.eugene.or.us, epc@ci.eugene.or.us

Tips on effective content:

  • State your basic support for taking actions that will improve housing affordability for lower-income households and ensure that demolitions and gentrification (raising rents) won’t force low-income renters out of their current houses or apartments.
  • Emphasize that you are not opposed to amendments that provide additional types of housing (e.g., duplexes and apartments) and allow reasonable increases in density for these forms of housing.

    But if new, high-density housing is built as “infill” in existing neighborhoods, the units need to be affordable. This is an essential requirement to avoid “gentrification” and major increases in rents for existing small and affordable houses and apartments in areas that are in the investors’ “crosshairs” for redevelopment.

    The buildings also need to be reasonably of the same scale as the existing houses (typically one, one-and-a-half, or two story).
  • State that you are strongly opposed to extreme deregulation that leaves all decisions to investors and developers of what gets built and how much it will cost to buy or rent. This is the city planners’ recommendation, and it will be a disaster for low-income households.
  • In your summary state that the City should limit the first phase of code amendments to the minimum changes to comply with the statutory requirements of House Bill 2001 and include protective regulations against demolitions of affordable rentals and evictions of low-income households.
  • Here are four very important, specific recommendations to make:

    1. Keep the definition of duplexes, triplexes, and fourplexes as attached dwellings, that is a single building that includes 2, 3, or 4 dwellings.

    (City planners are recommending that a standard lot could be divided into four smaller lots and four detached houses built, on the each of the smaller lots — as long as the developer calls this a “fourplex” (which it obviously would not be).

    This is being proposed soley to provide another incentive to investors and developers to build more detached housing for sale at the crazy current market prices. Obviously, a true fourplex would be less expensive to construct, require less land, and could add more rentals to the available inventory, potentially helping to lower rental costs.

    2. Do not allow lots for duplexes to be smaller than lots for a single-family home, and do not allow lots for three or more dwellings to be any smaller than the statutes allow (e.g., 5,000 square feet for a triplex and 7,000 square feet for a fourplex).

    3. Do not increase the maximum building height or amount of a lot that can be covered by buildings over the current standards for established neighborhoods. (Those standards already allow very large and tall buildings.)

    4. Do not eliminate the special area zone’s development standards that were created to fit specific situations in Eugene’s different residential areas.

    It is universally agreed by housing justice advocates that blanket, “one-size-fits-all” deregulation creates harmful gentrification pressures on non-white neighborhoods and other areas with more affordable housing. The same approach leaves what are known as “high opportunity/high amenity” neighborhodos unaffected because they either have restrictive covenenants (“cc&Rs) or are already too expensive for low-income households.

To view or download a comprehensive PDF document submitted as testimony, click here.