By Schuyler Warren, City of Tigard Associate Planner
The City of Tigard is working on a project to change the city’s housing regulations and wants to hear from residents about their housing needs and desires. The main purpose of this project is to provide for a greater diversity of housing options for all residents regardless of age, income, ability, or household size.
To achieve this, staff are working to develop standards for “Missing Middle” housing, which are marked by their well-designed units, simple construction, small footprint and walkability to services and amenities.
Missing middle housing is actually not one type of housing unit, but a group of different housing types that bridge the gap between apartment buildings and single-family homes. Examples of missing middle housing include accessory dwelling units (ADUs), cottage clusters, courtyard units, quads, and rowhouses, among others.
Missing middle housing is an important part of a comprehensive housing strategy for the City of Tigard because it offers a wider variety of housing sizes and styles that can accommodate people at all stages of life. Whether you are a single person, a small family just starting out, or a retiree looking to downsize while staying in the neighborhood and community you have always known, missing middle housing can provide you with more housing options that fit your lifestyle and budget.
Generally, missing middle housing is smaller and less expensive than the typical home, and often includes amenities like shared yards. In Oregon, the average home size between 1987 and 2007 grew from 1700 square feet to over 2300 square feet, while at the same time the typical Oregon household size declined. Unfortunately, the housing market has not responded to these demographic trends in household size. This trend is due in part to restrictive and outdated city regulations.
Collectively, these trends have resulted in declining homeownership among younger generations and the displacement of seniors who prefer smaller, single-story units. As a result, communities like Tigard are experiencing the loss of younger workers and increased competition for smaller housing units, as both younger homebuyers and retirees are seeking similar housing types.
The intent of this project is to lower barriers to the development of missing middle housing units that are seamlessly integrated into the fabric of our existing neighborhoods and provide residents with housing options that work for them through all stages of their lives.
Join us to learn more about this project and to let us know what types of housing you would like to see now and into the future.
We look forward to hearing from you about your housing needs and desires!
Housing Options Open House:
June 13th, 6:30 – 8:30 pm
Tigard Public Library
Schuyler Warren is an Associate Planner at the City of Tigard. He has a MLA in Landscape Architecture and a MCRP in Community and Regional Planning from the University of Oregon. He currently serves as a board member on Trailkeepers of Oregon. He can be reached at [email protected].