Eugene Needs More Middle Housing

I was glad to see the Weekly print Kelly Misset’s letter (“The Young Benefit From Increased Housing Density,” 10/7). As a younger renter in our community, she is not alone in asking for housing leadership and action from our local electeds.

I’ve worked as an architect in Eugene for nine years. I’m also a renter in the Jefferson Westside neighborhood — living proof that renting in Eugene is not just about students or even young folks; professionals of all ages find themselves in the rental market. And I think people who haven’t rented recently may not realize how cutthroat and disheartening that market is now. There simply needs to be more housing units available, and a greater variety of housing types.

In addition to the very real plight of renters, there is the ever-worsening homelessness crisis, priced-out middle-income folks who would love to own homes, and seniors with few housing alternatives.

As someone who has designed housing at many scales, I’ve been impressed with the city planners’ work to encourage more middle-housing options. This really is a gradual, limited-impact, sensitive approach to increased density, and even has provisions to reduce car dependence and enable lower- and middle-income folks to invest in our community as homeowners.

We all need housing, and we may even need different types of housing as our circumstances change. This does not strike me as a controversial position. So we need to get serious and focus on solutions, like the current middle housing effort. It will help.

Christopher Deel


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