One Year In, Are Tiny Houses on Wheels the New ADU in Portland?
We are one year into installing RV hookup infrastructure on residential properties in Portland for homeowners who are adding a mobile dwelling. We do this work through a company called Tiny Hookups LLC. This company was formed on the heels of the legalization of RVs (and tiny houses on wheels, which are classified as RVs under Oregon state law) as a legal dwelling option in Portland, Oregon, in 2021.
Portland, Oregon’s ADU Permit Data for 2020
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.
The Three Facts of California’s ADU Boom
Accessory dwelling units (ADUs) in California are “a revolution in progress,” in the words of researchers at the University of California’s Center for Community Innovation. A series of laws enacted over the past five years have systematically eliminated most explicit and implicit legal barriers to ADU construction across the entire state. Using data reported to the California Department of Housing and Community Development, I investigated likely economic and regulatory determinants of ADU growth across California cities.
Tiny Houses and RVs To Be Allowed as Housing in Portland
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.
Liberalized ADU laws must be defended in court
Recent legal developments show that we need to do more to ensure that permits are, in fact, being issued and new ADUs can be built.
ADU Legislative Initiatives- History in the Making (Part IV)
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.
Rate of Inhabited Mobile Dwellings on Residential Properties in One Portland Neighborhood
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.
Rent Control, PDX Ordinances and Recent Legislation Impacting ADUs.
Over the past five years there have been new laws passed in Portland and Oregon targeting the residential rental market. This article will provide context on the passage of these laws, inform ADU owners how the laws affect their properties, and give guidance on how owners can best stay in compliance.
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.
Consider Going All-Electric For Your ADU
Natural Gas, or methane has been promoted both as a ‘Clean Fuel’ or a ‘Bridge Fuel’ in various circles, both locally and nationally during this time of climate crisis. Concurrently, the IPCC has called for a far more rapid decline in the use of fossil fuel, more rapid scaling up of renewable energy taking advantage of the falling costs, and avoiding a lock-in of high-carbon infrastructure.
Perspective: How to make accessory dwelling units affordable
ADU financing could — and perhaps should — be a lot more like commercial real estate financing, only with a human touch. A guest post by Roger A. Gins.
ADU Legislative Initiatives- History in the Making (Part III)
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.
ADU Legislative Initiatives- History in the Making (Part II)
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.
ADU Legislative Initiatives- History in the Making (Part I)
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.
ADU Permit Trends in Portland in 2017 and 2018
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.
ADU Legislative Initiatives Abound
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.
Accessory Dwelling Units: A Tale of Two Cities
Guest post by Mark Thieroff from St. Paul, MN
About five years ago, interest in accessory dwelling units had reached a critical mass in Minneapolis and St. Paul. ADUs were seen by proponents as a way to increase housing diversity and flexibility and add density in residential neighborhoods. But Minneapolis and St. Paul ended up taking very different approaches and, consequently, have seen markedly different results.
Building an ADU in L.A.- Part II (excerpt)
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.
Garden Suites in Edmonton: a private investment in the public good
New research from Canada finds that ADUs and garden suites can function as voluntary version of affordable housing — with some important caveats.
Building An ADU- a new website for those seeking to build ADUs
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,
The Ascent of ADUs in Portland
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.
ADUs’ Tiny Relatives
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.
ADU Storage Solutions
I’ve picked up lots of small space storage solutions over the past couple years as I interviewed ADU homeowners and designers for the ADU Case Studies Project. You may just have to read through the whole set of case studies to see ALL the clever ideas, but here I’ll pick out my top 10 favorites.
Tips for Basement to ADU Conversions
Read on to learn about the benefits of basement ADUs, find links to examples of basement ADUs, and become familiar with what the deal-breakers are if you’re considering converting a basement into an ADU.
Tips for Garage to ADU Conversions
Garage to ADU conversions are the second most common way to create additional dwelling space within our existing building stock. Read on to learn about the benefits of garage to ADU conversions, find links to examples of converted garage ADUs, and become familiar with what the deal-breakers are if you’re considering converting a garage into an ADU.
Portland extends System Development Charge waiver on ADUs by 2 years
Portland’s City Council just extended the waiver of systems development charges on accessory dwelling units for 2 additional years. Here’s a link to the exact language of the ordinance. After … Continue reading
Will short term rentals actually reduce long term housing in granny flats?
It’s not intuitive, but prohibiting short-term rentals in ADUs won’t necessarily lead to a bigger supply of long-term residential housing. This post includes new data about the number of ADUs and short-term rentals in Portland, and the longevity of short-term rental listings.
How Portland Became ADU-Friendly (And How Your City Can, Too)
Portland is probably America’s most ADU-friendly city. Portland has eliminated many of the Barriers to ADU Development in two big ways: by relaxing regulation and by offering generous financial incentives.
Creative ADU Types
I didn’t realize that there were so many creative ways to make an ADU. Here are the 10 most interesting examples of Creative ADU Types I’ve encountered.
The Death of Detached ADUs in Portland and What To Do About (Part IV)
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
The Accessory Structures Zoning Code Update Passed
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
The Death of Detached ADUs in Portland and What To Do About (Part III)
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
The Accessory Structures Zoning Code Update- The Vote
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
The Death of Detached ADUs in Portland and What To Do About It
(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
Alan Durning Keynote Speaker at the Fall Build Small Live Large Summit
Conference is Sold Out! Alan Durning, a long-time sustainability leader in the Northwest, is newly fired up—and for good reason. Since founding Sightline Institute in 1993, he has written more … Continue reading
Berkeley ADUs and Perceptions of Density
by Alberto Benejam, Based on a report by Sonia-Lynn Abenojar, Alberto Benejam, and Tamar Nativ Throughout the past year, the city of Berkeley, CA has been considering changes to the city’s … Continue reading
Accessory Structures Zoning Code Amendments – An Overview and Assessment
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
Real estate rage in Portland! Or, ode on a purple shed
Up for rent in Portland, February 2015: a tiny purple structure in someone’s backyard, apparently a converted garden shed. At 165 square feet, it had the same area of 5 … Continue reading
Ten ADU Aspirations for 2015. Let the countdown begin!
As we all know, New Years is a time to conjure up lofty ideas. Here are a few great ideas that we, the editors of accessorydwellings.org, probably won’t have the time to … Continue reading
Innovative “Junior” accessory dwelling unit Zoning Ordinance Passed in Novato, California
Novato, California will allow a simpler, lower-cost style of accessory dwelling unit starting in 2015 — the JADU or “junior accessory dwelling unit.”
Model Code for Accessory Dwelling Units
Practically every week, we learn of a new US city or county that is adopting or revisiting zoning code language on accessory dwelling units (ADUs). Some are thinking of allowing … Continue reading
Garage apartments in Houston
Houston, Texas has a long tradition of accessory dwelling units. It also has a unique lack of zoning rules. Could it be the next hotbed of ADU creativity?
Summing up ADU research: are accessory dwelling units as great, or as horrible, as people say?
Collected research about accessory dwelling units (AKA granny flats, laneway houses, in-law units, etc) suggests they have many potential benefits, and two common arguments “against” are unsupported.
Accessory dwelling units: what further research should be done?
ADUs are especially promising as environmentally sensitive and affordable housing, and this potential should be investigated in detail.
What are the barriers to ADU development?
Government rules strongly limit the development of ADUs, but they are not the only factor.
Do ADUs provide affordable housing?
If the “grassroots” nature of their development is properly understood, ADUs have a lot of potential to address affordable housing needs.
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