HBA-championed House Bill 2001, Oregon’s landmark 2019 middle housing legislation, now has a companion bill to facilitate more homeownership. Senate Bill 458, passed in 2021, allows for an expedited land division process for qualifying middle housing permit applications submitted on or after July 1, 2022. Even as HB2001 paved the way for building more diverse housing types in single dwelling zones, OHBA and HBA diligently worked with local jurisdictional and housing advocacy stakeholders over the last two years to ensure land could be divided more quickly for middle housing—offering a speedier path to more home ownership options. Starting June 30, 2022 (effective now for medium cities under 10,000 population) more housing types – including duplex-quadplex, townhomes and cottage clusters—will be allowed in many more residential areas across our region than previously permitted. The housing can be for rent or for purchase, depending on the market. In Oregon, there are two main options for building homeownership middle housing—‘fee-simple’, meaning each home is owned together with its underlying land, or condominium, where the land is held in common ownership. Fee simple attached homes – also known as townhomes or rowhomes, can be bought and sold by individual households. Conversely, 2+ units on one parcel must either be bought and sold as one structure—a rental product—or become condominiums. While fee-simple and condo options each have their pros and cons, condominium construction has been historically more challenging given industry liability associated with Oregon’s construction defect law. At the same time, creating individual lots for fee-simple homes requires going through Oregon’s land division process, which often takes many months if not years. The journey can be fraught with appeals and other delays, resulting in significant land carrying costs. This means fewer needed housing units produced in a given time window, creating upward price pressure for Portlanders and Oregonians seeking housing throughout the region. Enter OHBA and HBA-championed Senate Bill 458. The bill utilizes an already-existing expedited land division process to get more home ownership units built faster. As long as the permit application qualifies as middle housing under the local government’s code, it falls under the expedited land division process. This process shortens by nearly half the jurisdictional land division approval timeline, and limits the appeal process and timeline, pursuant to ORS 197.360-380. Importantly, appeals do not go to LUBA. Units must meet the Oregon Residential Specialty Code and the jurisdiction’s middle housing siting and design standards, and resulting lots will be required to have their own utilities and necessary easement agreements. While the bill allows one dwelling unit per resulting lot or parcel, the local jurisdiction will have the authority to preclude further division of lots as well as disallow accessory dwelling units on resulting lots. Home ownership middle housing plays a critical role in our region’s hungry and deficit-faced housing market. SB458 came alongside HB2001 to promote a faster delivery of more diverse housing—housing that can be bought and sold by individual households. While many jurisdictions in the Portland metro area are well underway with HB2001 implementation, they now have an essential tool to encourage more home ownership options at the local level. To learn more about HBA involvement in middle housing implementation at the local level, contact Roseann Johnson at email@example.com for jurisdictions east of I-5 and Ryan Makinster, firstname.lastname@example.org for jurisdictions west of I-5.