Middle Housing in Wilsonville Project

Published 15:40 - 02/04/2021 Updated 11:00 - 04/07/2021

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Part of what makes Wilsonville a desirable community is its history of thoughtful and innovative residential planning.

As the City embarks upon an update of its residential code to comply with Oregon House Bill 2001, we are again taking a thoughtful approach to also answer the question: ‘how can our regulations serve as a catalyst for an array of housing types that meet pressing current and future needs?’

In finding our answer, we must address the past and consider the future while also enhancing the look, feel, and function of our neighborhoods.

Why are we motivated to do this work?

Part of what makes Wilsonville a desirable community is its history of thoughtful and innovative residential planning.

As the City embarks upon an update of its residential code to comply with Oregon House Bill 2001, we are again taking a thoughtful approach to also answer the question: ‘how can our regulations serve as a catalyst for an array of housing types that meet pressing current and future needs?’

In finding our answer, we must address the past and consider the future while also enhancing the look, feel, and function of our neighborhoods.

Why are we motivated to do this work?

Increasing Housing Costs. Many who chose to live in Wilsonville even 5-10 years ago may not make the same choice today due to cost. Rent and home prices have increased at a much greater rate than incomes, pushing some of our friends and neighbors out of Wilsonville. Nearly 1 in 4 families spend more than a third of their income on housing, and the number is climbing. Many kids growing up in Wilsonville are not likely to be able to afford to live here as adults.

Changing Households. Household compositions are changing, and the trend is accelerating. Future housing inventory must match the community’s needs, which may include housing for smaller, young households and more seniors living with their adult children.

Addressing Systemic Injustices. Housing rules and regulations have historically been powerful tools of racial exclusion. How the City’s housing rules and regulations have been (or could be) tools of racial exclusion must be carefully examined.

The Growth of “Middle Housing”?

Middle Housing – which consists of housing of all types that land between detached single-family homes and apartment complexes – help address these concerns.

State law defines middle housing to include duplexes, triplexes, quadplexes, townhouses, and cottage clusters. Some middle housing types include a few units on one lot (duplex, triplex) while others feature homes on separate lots that share a common wall (townhouses). Though middle housing is already present in many Wilsonville neighborhoods, the demand is higher than the supply.

We invite community members to join the conversation with questions, comments and ideas throughout our public process. Help us identify solutions that effectively address our current challenges.

Share Your Experience Looking for Housing in Wilsonville

What was it like looking for housing in Wilsonville? If your experience was not recent, share how your experience may have been different if it occurred today.

Some questions to help get you started:

  • What stage of life were you in while looking for housing?
  • Were you able to find what you desired? If not, what could you not find?
  • Did you find the home you wanted at a price you could afford? If not, what tradeoffs did you make? 
  • If you were looking for a detached single-family home, would you have considered an attached unit if it otherwise had the attributes in a home you were looking for? 
  • What were the minimum attributes you were looking for within your budget? 
  • If you found what you wanted, would you have been able to afford your home at the price it is today? If not, what might have you chosen instead?

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    We need more types of housing, at varied prices, to keep Wilsonville diverse and inclusive

    by Garet Prior, 9 days ago

    To keep Wilsonville a place where people of all incomes and backgrounds can live, we need to concentrate our efforts on the following needs:

    People of color, and their need for affordable, multi-room homes to support multi-generational housing.

    In the past decade, Wilsonville’s Latinx population doubled to 11% of the population and is growing. The cost of our multifamily housing is the higher end of the market, and cheaper homes do not have enough bedrooms to support multi-generation housing, which is common in immigrant and minority communities.

    Single-parent homes and their need for affordable housing that is connected to jobs,

    ... Continue reading
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    Looking ahead to downsize/retire

    by MissyCC, 4 months ago

    Hoping to retire soon, but want to downsize - preferably to something with NO common walls. A Cottage home sounds perfect! Have lived in a two-story residential home for too many years to retire only to listen to someone in another unit flush their toilet. Hope developers see the opportunity to build Cottage Homes, which could appeal to single working people as well as seniors.

    However, no matter what type of housing, PARKING is incredibly important. For example, a multi-generational home will have multiple vehicles. That's just reality. Without requiring parking SCALED to the number of bedrooms, any "on-street" parking... Continue reading

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    Penny pinching just isn’t cutting it

    by MDT, 6 months ago
    We are a family of six, renting a three bedroom apartment for the past three years. We have fallen in love with Wilsonville and want to raise our children here.


    We are in a time in life where we want to be in a house before our children are too much older and will be out of the house. We have not been able to find anything within our budget and have begun searching out of town to buy.


    We preferably need at least three bedrooms, two bath for our four children, but the availability of homes/townhomes/ condos in our... Continue reading