The conversation shared below was part of the YIMBYtown 2022 conference, cohosted by Sightline Institute and Portland: Neighbors Welcome.*
With legislation for missing middle housing rapidly sweeping the country, who is stepping up to build the duplexes, triplexes, and fourplexes that are now re-legalized for America’s urban cores? This panel features three middle housing developers sharing their perspective on how new housing and zoning laws are streamlining the construction of new places to live—or slowing or blocking it.
- Payton Chung, writer and managing partner of Westover Green, talks about the effects of zoning changes on new housing and provides insights on urban planning and development.
- Eric Thompson, with Oregon Homeworks, shares how he went from being a “big bad developer” to a middle housing developer, and how Portland’s Residential Infill Project allows for the construction of whole host of housing types—single detached houses with ADUs, triplexes, four-plexes, and cottage clusters—to meet today’s housing needs.
- Ezra Hammer, with Taylor Morrison, discusses the challenge of adhering to building codes and zoning laws while balancing communities’ needs with the needs of stockholders and financiers.
- Michael Andersen, senior housing researcher and transportation lead at Sightline Institute, moderated the session and the Q&A. Topics included diversity, how the role of gender interacts with the development industry, rising supply costs and interest rates, and difficulties in attaining home ownership.
*YIMBYtown 2022 occurred April 11–13 in Portland, Oregon, the fourth annual gathering (after some COVID delays) of “Yes in My Back Yard” (YIMBY) community leaders, organizers, planners, policymakers, educators, and housing providers eager to share resources and strategies for building more affordable, sustainable, and equitable communities.