Portland Approves Office-to-Home Conversion Incentives
Following months of discussions, the Portland City Council has approved code changes to make office-to-housing conversions easier and less expensive. The new measures give developers a break of up to $3 million of building infrastructure charges and loosens requirements for expensive seismic upgrades.
According to the Portland Business Journal, the city felt that unless it intervened, many of the downtown office buildings would remain empty, wasting potential housing space. Despite the changes, housing advocates remain concerned that it’s not enough to spur development.
Oregon Smart Growth, a non-profit organization representing developers, investors and allied industries, has called for additional reforms to the city’s housing policy which mandates affordable housing in new, larger buildings. But, Here Together, advocating for homeless services, backs the new measures, saying they’re needed to close the housing supply gap and that all sorts of homes are needed to address homelessness.