Eugene’s Middle Housing Code amendments offer an opportunity to create new housing options and reduce our dependence on automobiles — Eugene’s largest source of greenhouse gases.
We clearly have a housing crisis. Middle housing alone will not eliminate this crisis, but by allowing new forms of housing, reducing parking requirements and providing incentives to help achieve our climate and transportation goals, we can invest in adaptable and affordable housing for decades to come. In addition, middle housing will make more housing available in locations where driving is merely one option — and often not the best option.
I live in middle housing myself, and I love it! I virtually never have to drive, I know my neighbors and I have a home of a manageable size for a single person. Many friends are living in homes that are larger than they’d prefer and finding themselves driving for nearly every trip.
Middle housing isn’t for everyone. But single-family housing isn’t for everyone, either. Yet that is virtually all that Eugene offers. Incentivizing middle housing and eliminating parking mandates will allow more people to find housing that works for them, while also moving toward a future of greater energy-efficiency and climate resilience.