MEDIA CONTACT: Michael Andersen, Sightline Institute,  

FULL ARTICLE: Yes, Oregon, there is a way to build enough homes

SALEM, OREGON Oregon’s House Housing Committee On Housing and Homelessness meets today to hear HB 2889, a measure to ramp up housing production and reduce barriers to construction. It’s one part of a state effort, supported by Governor Tina Kotek, to address the state’s acute housing shortage by building 36,000 homes annually over the next decade. 

While an ambitious goal, new analysis from Sightline Institute finds that the state has in fact done it before. Over the 1970s, Oregon added almost 33,000 homes per year on average. What’s more, it did it with less than half of the residential construction workforce it has today. About half of the homes were multi-family options, including triplexes and apartments—a much larger share than in recent years. 

“With so much need for public investment to house our neighbors, it can be easy to lose sight of the benefits of making homes less expensive to create,” says Michael Andersen, coauthor of the research. “But if we can reduce those cost factors, we make every public dollar we spend go further and we help our private sector build homes to lower market prices.” 

Read Sightline’s full analysis: Yes, Oregon, there is a way to build enough homes

Related: With flexibility over parking, Oregon homebuilders get to work  


Michael Andersen is the senior housing researcher and transportation lead in Oregon for Sightline Institute. View his latest research, and follow him at @andersem. 

Sightline Institute is an nonpartisan, nonprofit think tank providing leading original analysis of housing, democracy, forests, and energy policy in the Pacific Northwest, Alaska, British Columbia, and beyond.  

February 7, 2023