Portland Oregon City Council Permanently Waves Development Fees For Tiny Homes

By Property Management Systems

There’s no denying that we have a rental housing crisis in Portland Oregon that’s been happening for years.

Thankfully, the Portland Oregon City Counil has been making it easy for homeowners to build granny flats or accessory dwellings on their properties in the hopes that those homeowners will want to rent those thiny homes and help ease the housing crisis.

Due to the overwhelming success of tiny homes in Portland the City Council has decided to permanently wave development fees on tiny homes here.

More Tiny Homes Will Be Built

The Portland City Council on Wednesday made permanent its waiver of city development fees for building tiny houses, the latest decision among many to try to boost local housing supply. 

Under normal circumstances, homeowners pay development fees to several city bureaus for constructing new buildings. The city has since 2010 waived those fees for builders of tiny homes or “granny flats,” known officially as accessory dwelling units, and repeatedly extended the waiver as it nears expiration. 

Development fees in general are designed to cover the cost of additional stress on parks, roads and utilities from new residents, and can be as much as $15,000 per tiny home project.

City elected officials hope that by making the waiver permanent, home owners will continue adding accessory units in their backyards and rent them long-term. 

Under the ordinance adopted Wednesday, the waiver remains only if the property owner agrees not to use the new unit as a short-term rental, such as an Airbnb, for 10 years. Breaking the rules would require homeowners to pay the development fees plus a 50 percent fine. The vote was 4-0, with Mayor Ted Wheeler absent on vacation.

Commissioner Chloe Eudaly, who oversees the city permitting bureau and brought the permanent waiver ordinance to Council, said homeowners are still free to build accessory units for short-term rentals. But she said the city won’t subsidize construction of those units through fee waivers.

“As far as I’m concerned that’s a fair and reasonable decision. We don’t need more short-term rental units, we need more housing units,” Eudaly said.

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The time and effort involved in running and maintaining a rental property can quickly become overwhelming. Sometimes you only need help in filling a vacancy, or the thought of being “invisible” to the tenant’s appeals to others.

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