For Immediate Release: October 21, 2022

Media Contact:
Michael Andersen, Senior Researcher, Housing Program, @andersem

TROUTDALE, OR – The City of Troutdale, a city that has far more residents living on low incomes than low-priced homes, has rejected Home Forward’s offers to redesign their project in ways that would retain all 94 planned units. Instead, Troutdale officials insist that an affordable housing project proposed for their city include 26% fewer homes so it can make room for a bigger parking lot.

This decision comes on the heels of a unanimous decision by the state’s land use commission to roll back parking requirements in most urban and suburban places, like Troutdale. If that rule takes effect on January 1, 2023, as scheduled, the Home Forward project would be able to move ahead with 130 spaces for 94 homes.

But if the City of Troutdale has its way, the new “Climate-Friendly and Equitable Communities” rules won’t take effect on January 1. Troutdale is one of nine cities around the state that have agreed to sue to block them.

According to the new state rules, minimum parking mandates will no longer apply within a half-mile of relatively frequent transit, for homes of 750 square feet or less, and for homes meeting affordability targets for jurisdictions within Oregon’s eight largest metro areas.  This doesn’t prevent parking lots from being built, but it does remove the current prevailing requirements to construct a specific number of stalls: in Troutdale’s case, the requirement is two parking spaces for every housing unit, including studio apartments.

Sightline Institute’s senior housing researcher, Michael Andersen, has penned “Troutdale Says Tax-Funded Housing Project Has a Problem: Too Many Homes,” an in-depth look at this Home Forward project in context of the pending Climate-Friendly and Equitable Communities rules and the expected lawsuit to attempt to block those rules from taking effect.

About the Author:
Michael Andersen, senior researcher, has been writing about ways better municipal policy can help break poverty cycles, with a focus on housing and transportation, for over a decade. Find his latest research here.

About Sightline Institute: Sightline Institute is an independent, nonprofit think tank providing leading original analysis of housing, democracy, and energy policy in the Pacific Northwest and beyond.

October 21, 2022