Single-Family Zoning and the Housing Crisis

By Robert Parker

IPRE has worked on housing issues in Oregon for nearly 30 years. Our research concludes that Oregon has had housing affordability issues for decades.  In recent years, housing affordability has reached crisis status in many communities. For example, in 2017 identified Eugene as having the second tightest housing market in the country. Census data shows that more than 100,000 renter households in Oregon were cost-burdened (e.g., pay more than 30% of their monthly income for housing). n 2016. Moreover, 26 Oregon cities with populations over 10,000 are considered “rent-burdened” (more than a quarter of renter households pay more than 50% of their monthly income for housing) by the Oregon Housing and Community Services Department.

The issue has the attention of the Oregon legislature, who has passed several important legislative initiatives to address housing affordability.  Rebecca Lewis and Bob Parker supported the Department of Land Conservation and Development in developing the Affordable Housing Pilot Program, which tests simplifying urban growth boundary amendments as a tool to facilitate affordable housing development by providing land. In 2017, the Oregon legislature passed a law (Senate Bill 1051) requiring cities of over 2,500 population to allow accessory dwelling units (aka “granny flats”) in areas zoned for single-family homes.

In 2019, the Oregon Legislature passed a statewide rent control policy.  This was a response to rapidly increasing rents in many Oregon communities. HB 2003 requires Oregon Housing and Community Services to prepare regional housing needs analyses and for municipalities with populations over 10,000 to develop housing production strategies.

Attributes of single-family housing in 2018

Perhaps the most controversial and innovative legislation that came out of the 2019 session was House Bill 2001. The bill seeks to provide Oregonians with more housing choices–particularly affordable housing. The law allows development of traditional housing types, like duplexes, in residential zones. These housing types already exist in most cities, but were outlawed for decades in many communities. These limitations contribute to increased housing costs and fewer choices. House Bill 2001 will require updates to local laws that currently limit the types of housing people can build.

Rebecca and I recently wrote a piece for The Conversation on initiatives to ban single-family zoning. Our piece comments on the social and environmental implications of exclusive single-family zoning. While we conclude that HB 2001 will probably not have an immediate impact in most Oregon communities (with the exception of Portland), HB 2001 and similar initiatives mark a sea change in policy response to America’s affordability crisis.

You can access The Conversation article using the link below.


2018 Vineyard and Winery Report Released

In 2017, IPRE initiated a partnership with the Oregon Wine Board (OWB) to provide research report on the annual Vineyard and Winery Report.  OWB has been sponsoring the reports for more than a decade with the intent of providing baseline data on the state of the Oregon wine industry.  This is the second Report produced by IPRE and the results continue to show healthy growth in the industry.Key findings from the 2018 report include:

  • 2018 saw increases in sales, revenue and production for Oregon wineries and vineyards.
  • The leading variety in planted acreage and production remains Pinot Noir accounting for 57% of all planted acreage and 59% of wine grape production.
  • The estimated value of wine grape production topped $200 million for the first time.
  • The number of vineyards increased from 1,144 to 1,165 and total planted acreage increased by nearly 2,000 acres from 33,996 to 35,972, an increase of 5.8%. The highest growth rate in planted acreage was seen in the Umpqua and Rogue valleys at 10%.
  • The overall number of wineries increased from 769 to 793 with the biggest increases coming from South Willamette Valley, which added 16, and the North Willamette Valley, which grew by 12.
  • Total tons crushed increased by 3.3% from 77,170 tons to 79,685 tons.
  • Case sales increased 15% from 3.60 million to 4.15 million, supported by increases in domestic sales outside of Oregon, direct to consumer channels and international sales.
  • The leading export market for Oregon wine is Canada, which accounted for 45% of export sales. Notable growth was seen in Scandinavian markets, Mexico, Hong Kong/China and South Korea.

The full report is available here. A detailed media report from OWB is available here.

The report has attracted considerable media attention.

The Oregonian:

Portland Business Journal:

Wine Industry Advisor:


About the Oregon Wine Board

The Oregon Wine Board is a semi-independent Oregon state agency managing marketing, research and education initiatives that support and advance the Oregon wine and wine grape industry. The Board works on behalf of all Oregon wineries and independent growers throughout the state’s diverse winegrowing regions. Visit