As a renter in Eugene and a young person deeply concerned about the climate crisis, I strongly support the city’s efforts to increase housing density and availability while also striving to meet their Climate Action Plan (CAP) 2.0 goals.
As our city’s population grows, so, too, does our housing shortage. This particularly hurts young people in my generation, who not only have limited prospects of ever owning a home, but are hard pressed to even find an affordable place to rent in Eugene.
At the same time, the endless sprawl that spans most of the I-5 corridor in Washington and California harms our climate. Expansive suburban developments, while often providing low-income and middle housing, require the use of single-occupancy vehicles, which increase carbon emissions and pave over ecosystems that could instead be drawing down and storing carbon.
Increased housing density is the answer. The more that we can co-locate housing with transit, schools and services, the better equipped we are to support walkable neighborhoods, affordable housing units and equitable access to goods and services. Keeping Eugene weird should always be a priority, but our city needs to move forward so we can support marginalized communities and address the climate crisis as well.
I greatly admire the work of the city, and specifically the leadership of Councilor Claire Syrett, to embrace House Bill 2001 and create a more affordable and sustainable housing market for all Eugeneans.