As of July, 2021, there have been approximately 3,350 total permits issued for ADUs in Portland. Here’s the latest annual permit trend chart.
On April 28th, 2021, Portland’s City Council unanimously passed a new set of regulations that allows for recreational vehicles and tiny houses on wheels to be used as a legal, viable housing option on residential properties in the City of Portland beginning on August 1st, 2021.
On August 12th, 2020, the City of Portland finally passed the Residential Infill Project. This was an overhaul of single family residential zoning regulations that was nearly five years in the making. This post will cover the changes that are coming with Residential Infill Project and also tease you with what is to come with Oregon’s House Bill 2001.
In June, 2020, I conducted some voluntary research to determine how many single family residential properties had an inhabited mobile dwelling. The Cully neighborhood consists of 12,595 residents, or 4,685 households. My survey found 65 inhabited mobile dwellings located on residentially zoned lots, which translates to a rate of 0.005/resident.
Here’s some notable stuff for those interested in ADU minutiae in the Portland market and beyond. It’s a mashup of information and updates that will be of interest to ADU advocates: ADU Permit Numbers, MLS, Mapping ADUs, SDCs, ADU events in April 2020, Summit videos, oh my.
ADU Advocates’ Unsanctioned Guidance for Oregon Cities Updating Local ADU Regulations by January, 2020 to Comply with HB 2001 Statute
Two of the most common “poison pills” in ADU standards will be prohibited statewide in Oregon beginning in January, 2020, making earlier ADU legislation significantly more effective.
Oregon House Bill 2001 (HB 2001) was signed into law on August 8th, 2019. While HB 2001 rightly claimed headlines for expanding missing middle housing options, it also included some specific requirements for ADUs.
Several significant bills passed through the legislative process in California last week. This legislation that passed in CA is major and will help usher ADUs out of the dark ages.
As reviewed in my first post on this topical thread, significant and progressive legislative and regulatory ADU code overhauls are occuring at quickening pace in jurisdictions up and down the west coast. I’ve been tracking ADU regulatory reform fairly closely for a decade, and there hasn’t ever been a time period where ADUs have been gaining as much national traction as they are now.
Announcing the next Build Small Live Large Summit and the next ADU Academy. November 7th and 8th, 2019. Portland, Oregon.
Two national, back-to-back events on November 7th and 8th in Portland, Oregon
The ADU Tour in June was a blast. Approximately 800 people attended. We’ve made the 17 project profiles public. You can find them here.
The 24-hour period from the afternoon of Sunday, June 29th- afternoon Monday, June 30th, 2019, was an important day for ADUs.
In the future, urban planners will point to that day as a signature moment for an era of deregulation and liberalization of codes for ADUs.
I’ve updated an extensive post about ADU development costs here. These updates are based new cost numbers that just came in from the upcoming 2019 ADU Tour in Portland, which serves as a repository of current and active primary source data for cost estimates. It turns out that current primary source data is critical when it comes to talking about the costs of ADUs, because the development cost numbers here keep escalating rapidly.
Financing ADUs has remained a major challenge. But, in the future, 2019 will always be thought of as the year of ADU financing innovation. On April 29th, Portland State University convened a meeting in Washington, D.C to help flesh out some of the innovative programs that are being developed to finance ADUs.
I don’t know what I was thinking.I couldn’t help myself. I kept saying yes; I couldn’t resist. Now, look what I’ve done.Maybe you’re wondering what am I talking about. I’m talking about this year’s ADU Tour, of course!
On June 21st, 2019, we are running a new professional education event designed for builders, designers, lenders, realtors and appraisers who aspire to up their ADU game and stand out from the competition.
This post details some findings about ADU permit trends in Portland.
First, we’ll start with the big picture. Here’s the latest data on the number of permits issued by the City of Portland for ADUs from 2000-2018. In 2017, 588 permits were issued. In 2018, 660 were issued. This is a total of 1248 ADU permits issued in 2017 and 2018.
Portland’s next ADU Tour will be on Saturday, June 22nd Save the date! More tour information will be posted on AccessoryDwellings.org this winter.
SDC Waiver, Residential Infill Project, Oregon and California state legislative updates….
There are significant ADU legislative initiatives underway in California, Porltand, and Oregon at large. Each of these legislative efforts have national signficance.
For those of you in Portland, I’m having an open house event this Thursday, April 19th at my recently completed basement/garage conversion ADU from 4-7pm. I hope to see you there.
Backdoor Revolution- The Definitive Guide to ADU Development is officially live!
…Vancouver, British Columbia is the North American leader in ADU development.
Among the most notable things that Vancouver has done is allowed both a secondary suite and a laneway home on the same property. Other US cities (Portland, Oregon, and Seattle, Washington) are considering this idea now, but to my knowledge, no US cities allow it yet.
Backdoor Revolution- Part IV- Top Ten Reasons Why Basement Conversion ADUs and Detached ADUs Are Like Chalk and Cheese
Basement ADUs and detached ADUs are totally different creatures.
As I began to write my book and researched ADUs of all types, I strongly considered writing a totally separate book about basement ADUs. I ultimately decided to concurrently capture basement ADUs along with other structural forms in the same ADU book.
One of the reasons that ADUs are especially challenging to foster is that they are generally developed by average homeowners. No other housing type is commonly developed by non-professional developers.
If you don’t develop housing as a full-time profession, housing development is complicated and challenging. Actually, even if it IS a full-time profession, housing development is complicated and challenging.
One significant part of my book research was about informal ADUs. While permitted ADUs are still fairly rare, informal ADU (a.k.a. unpermitted ADUs) are not.
In writing Backdoor Revolution, I discovered that informal ADUs have a lot to teach us. The book is now available for pre-order on Amazon.
In 2013, I was observing ADU trends in the US by tracking Google News Alerts and reading academic articles….
I’ve spent the last 2.5 years on this book, and I am proud to finally release it to the world on January 23rd, 2018.
Between 2003-2016, an average of one hundred permitted ADUs had been developed each year in L.A.. While 100 ADUs a year is something, it’s certainly not a lot of housing for a city with a population of nearly four million people, and 1.4 million housing units. But, 2017 has entirely changed the landscape for ADUs in California at large. And, L.A. has done something that no one expected.
The Build Small Live Large Summit is the first ever national gathering of leaders in ADU policymaking, design and development. ADU industry practicioners across the country will convene to share and showcase emerging best practices regarding the development of this rare housing type. If you are an ADU enterprenuer, designer, builder, policy-maker, or advocate, we hope that you will be able to attend.
The ADU Tour in Portland on September 9th and 10th was great. 600 people each day attended to see the 12 ADUs featured in NE Portland and the 12 ADUs in SE Portland.
The ADU Tour is just a couple weeks away on September 8-10th. If you are planning to build an ADU, drop whatever else you have planned and clear your schedule for this weekend. This is the largest (and best) ADU Tour in the nation.
Eary bird sales for the ADU Tour end on August 19th. You can buy tickets now.
It’s shaping up to be an awesome event! There’s going to be 12 ADUs featured on Saturday in SE and 12 ADUs on Sunday in SE. For those who are only interested in seeing certain ADU structural types, here is the breakdown by day.
BuildinganADU.com is a website geared to homeowners who want to build an ADU on their property, featuring posts and tips that delve into great detail about explaining how much ADUs cost to build using actual costs from recent projects,
We are excited to announce the next ADU Tour. This tour has an awesome line up, chock-full with awesome and diverse ADU types and styles.
It’s going to be a full weekend event with 10+ ADUs in NE Portland featured on Saturday, and a different set of 10+ ADUs in SE Portland on Sunday. None of these ADUs have been featured on previous ADU tours before.
Portland is leading the pack with ADU development nationally. Data provided by the City of Portland shows the rate of ADU permits issued from 2010-2016. In 2016, 615 permits were issued, 20 times the average number of permits issues each year before Portland’s SDC waiver in 2010.
Editor’s note: In a stunning turn of events, Portland has actually just moved ahead with some of the ideas described in the post and video below, temporarily ending enforcement of the habitation of mobile dwellings on residential properties.
The ADU Tour on September 18th was a great event! Over 700 people registered and attendees had a fabulous experience. We aim to make the tour as educational as possible for attendees. Following the tour, we received many comments in the feedback, like this one.
The weather looks like it will be awesome for next week’s city wide ADU Tour. The ADU Tour hosts are excited to open their doors for the tour. In addition to … Continue reading
The City-wide ADU Tour is less than six weeks away, and early bird ticket sales end on September 2nd. On the tour, you’ll meet homeowners who have recently completed their ADUs, who … Continue reading
The ADU Tour is on for September 17th & 18th, 2016. Learn more and register here. This will be the fourth city wide tour of ADUs. 10+ ADUs will be … Continue reading
Question: If you completed an ADU or are in the final stages of building one, what advice would you offer to prospective ADU owner-developers?
Below are the 25+ responses to that question from homeowners who actually did it.
Readers of this series may have noticed a positive tone change in the dire title of the series. That’s because yesterday, the Oregon Department of Revenue issued a draft rule that steers Multnomah County away from the misguided interpretation that they’d used this year–the interpretation that had caused detached ADUs to trigger a property reassessment– the interpretation which has caused a dramatic ADU development chilling effect in Portland in the last 6 months.
This is an announcement for a new presentation series being offered in Portland by Portland Alternative Dwellings, which will cover a range of small house related topics, including ADUs. -Editor April-June, 2016 … Continue reading
There’s some lively discussion in Seattle these days about relaxing restrictions for Detached Accessory Dwelling Units (DADUs). There doesn’t appear to be strong opposition to DADUs, but some are expressing … Continue reading
Over Thanksgiving weekend in late November, more than thirty Portland homeowners emailed the Administrator Humphrey of the Oregon Department of Revenue with a formal request to return to the common improvement tax … Continue reading
Good News for Detached ADUs It is great to see incremental improvements being made to regulatory ADU codes across the country. Austin, TX recently made some improvements to their ADU … Continue reading
Commissioner Loretta Smith from Multnomah County, District 2 stepped up last week as the first of Multnomah County Commissioners to speak out against the unfair tax re-MAV issue that has been … Continue reading
What seemed to be a ‘slam-dunk’ set of great, proposed code updates for detached ADUs and other accessory structures have experienced yet another potential setback, so to speak. The day before the vote … Continue reading
(This is Part II of The Death of Detached ADUs in Portland and What To Do About It. Part I, Part III, Part IV, and Part V are also available.) Action Items … Continue reading
The City-wide ADU Tour is just two weeks away.The ADUs on this tour are beautiful and we can’t wait for you see them in person. Here’s a preview of some of the ADUs you’ll be seeing.
(Update: Part II , Part III , Part IV and Part V are also available.) This post is complicated, thick, and heavy – it’s about property taxes. Ick! For the purposes of retaining readers’ interest, I … Continue reading
Registration for the November 7th ADU Tour is now live; early bird sales end on October 24th. For those seeking design inspiration for small houses, the ADUs on this upcoming tour are exceptionally beautiful. Here’s a sneak preview of a few of some of them.
Introduction The City of Portland (Bureau of Planning and Sustainability) regularly reviews and updates planning and zoning codes through a process called RICAP (Regulatory Improvement Code Amendment Project). Part of … Continue reading