Biz Beat

Housing shortage, Arriving By Bike, HIV Alliance and more

• The West Coast affordable housing shortage is raising rents and home sale prices to record levels, which is good news for property owners and investors, but is distinctly bad news for low-income and even moderate-income households looking to rent or buy in Lane County. We noticed Onward Oregon, the progressive advocacy group, is getting into the housing debate with its support of Oregon HB 2007A that would, among other things, allow the development of “smaller, discrete housing options of accessory dwelling units (ADUs) and duplexes in single-family zoned neighborhoods.” Eugene’s current and antiquated building code, with a few exceptions, allows duplexes only on very large corner lots. We don’t know if this bill will become statewide law, but the city of Eugene has the power to go ahead with such updates to its building codes.

• We’ve been tracking the two cohousing projects in Eugene and both are still giving tours, recruiting members and developing plans. The newest project is Eugene Downtown Cohousing on a vacant lot on Lincoln Street between Broadway and 10th Avenue. A meeting for people interested in this adult, urban-style community will be at 1 pm Sunday, July 30. Call 541-344-5751 or email for the location. The more rural Oakleigh Meadow project along the Willamette River has been delayed by appeals, but organizer Will Dixon says the Eugene Planning Commission “re-re-re-approved” the project in June and “now it’s onward and upward.” Call 541-514-1176 or email

• Community Lending Works is now offering down payment assistance for eligible homebuyers in Lane and Benton counties. The nonprofit is in partnership with Neighborhood Economic Development Corporation (NEDCO) and Willamette Neighborhood Housing Services. The Project Reinvest Down Payment  Assistance program offers $10,500 in assistance. Applicants must meet qualifications and attend workshops and consultations. See

• Arriving By Bike at 2705 Willamette Street has been busy this summer, sponsoring bike valet parking at Art in the Vineyard and participating in a free bike repair clinic at BRING July 15. The business was also involved in the Filmed By Bike Film Festival and will be showing bikes at Kesey Square July 30 for the Eugene Sunday Streets event, according to owner Paul Moore. See our story online for more on Sunday Streets.

• HIV Alliance has moved into its new facilities at 1195A City View Street. The nonprofit had help from Essex General Construction, Brothers Plumbing, Reynolds Electric, Rubenstein’s Contract Carpet, Hartness Drywall, Wildish Construction, Forrest Paint, Oldfield’s Appliance and the Long Tom Watershed Council.

• Obie Hospitality is the new division of Obie Companies headed by former Eugene mayor Brian Obie, owner of Fifth Street Public Market and the adjacent upscale Inn at the 5th. Obie recently opened another upscale hotel in Boise and says, “We plan to continue to build very special boutique hotels in a variety of Western U.S. communities.”

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