More Limited Equity Co-Ops, Less High-End Housing

Many thanks to writer Cole Sinanian (“The Forgotten Answer to the Affordable Housing Crisis,” EW 2/3) for highlighting the little-understood affordable housing model of a limited equity co-op on community land trust property, utilized by Square One Villages and Dylan Lamar for the C Street Co-op. The LEC/CLT concept is exactly what people like me are promoting as we oppose the tragically ill-advised HB 2001 adoption proposal endorsed by the Eugene Planning Commission.

I can only imagine the EPC succumbed to lobbying pressures from the National Associations of Realtors and Home Builders when it accepted the planning staff proposal to far exceed the state’s already very substantial HB 2001 required infill allowances. This foolish plan freely hands over additional incentives to all builders instead of wisely using the available leverage to assist those committed to building our most desperately needed housing such as Square One and Lamar.

According to the city’s own analysis, the housing deficit of 13,500 units for people in income levels served by projects like C Street Co-op and Emerald Village vastly outnumbers that at any other level. There is currently a relatively modest need for housing at the middle income level (1,700 units), and a 5,700-unit surplus of high-end units. 

This is only one of many prudent reasons the Eugene city councilors should reject the EPC recommendation and limit initial code adoption to the fundamental HB 2001 requirements, reserving additional incentives for most needed permanent affordable housing. Remember, once passed, it cannot be easily undone.

Pam Wooddell