The availability of affordable housing choices for different types of households is a key feature of a livable community. The location of housing in relation to jobs, shopping, transportation and other services significantly impacts quality of life.
Metro's commitment to ensuring that people throughout the region enjoy access to decent housing goes well beyond the statutory requirement to maintain a 20-year supply of residential land within the region's urban growth boundary. The region's long-range plan, the 2040 Growth Concept, identifies providing a range of housing choices for people of all incomes and household types as a matter of regional concern and a key component of the region's livability. Subsequent policies have been developed to promote housing choice and affordability. Moreover, because housing located near jobs, services and transit has the potential to improve the region's quality of life by reducing traffic, commute times and air pollution, Metro provides incentives for this kind of development through its transit-oriented development program.
New population projections show that about a million more people will be living in the metro area by 2030. One result will be increased demand for new housing of all types. Decisions about where and how much to expand the urban growth boundary to accommodate new residents could have major effects on home prices, neighborhood densities, the range of available housing choices, infrastructure costs, housing demand in neighboring communities, traffic congestion and commuting times and costs.
In addition to expected population growth, the region is also changing demographically in ways that will have significant housing impacts. For example:
Household size continues to decrease, and the population of younger professionals without children is increasing. Many of these households will be interested in non-traditional housing, including smaller lots and more condo/townhouse alternatives.
Gentrification in the central parts of the region has resulted in higher housing prices, forcing lower-income households to move to areas farther from the center city that are not well served by transit and other services.
Special needs. The region is also seeing an increase in the number of elderly people. This is likely to result in a need for more retirement homes, developments with special features such as wheelchair access, and housing options with easy access to transit.
Learn about strategies for reducing the cost of housing, presented to the Metro Council in 2006 by the Housing Choice Task Force.
Recommendation from the Affordable Housing Technical Advisory Committee accepted by the Metro Council in July, 2000
Find out more about the Title 7 component of the Urban Growth Management Functional Plan annual compliance report.