Housing is Eugene’s most critical issue. The city has a drastic shortage of rental apartments, especially for lower-income people. Renters are over half of Eugene residents, and they’re having a hard time finding apartments they can afford.
The city is faced with a state mandate to open up single-family home residential zoning to apartments. Eugene Weekly’s recent [“EW Extra”] blog post “HB 2001: A Eugene Odyssey” (7-24) frames the issue as mainly racial. That isn’t really helpful in understanding what is going on.
While I support getting rid of racial segregation, I don’t think that’s the main problem with residential zoning in Eugene. The main folks being excluded are renters, Black and white. Middle-class homeowners, at least the most vocal, want to keep working-class renters out of their neighborhoods. It’s class segregation, class warfare. Why is everyone avoiding the issue? Are we really at a point where it’s okay to talk about race but not about class?