Better Housing by Design project working to improve multifamily housing in East Portland

News article

Community members invited to learn more and share feedback on ideas to create more open space, better housing design and improved street connections.

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For years, people in East Portland have wanted improvements to the design of apartments and other multifamily housing in East Portland.

While new housing helps meet the community’s need for housing, the design of multifamily development has not always met expectations. Some buildings have no outdoor space for residents — leaving parking lots as the only place for children to play — and little space for trees.

Also, few housing developments have provided new street or pedestrian connections, making it harder for residents to walk to nearby destinations, such as schools, parks, shops and transit stops.

The City of Portland has started the Better Housing by Design project to address these issues in East Portland and other multifamily areas in Portland. City planners are working with community advocates and other Portlanders to improve the design of new multifamily development to better meet the needs of current and future residents.

At a February 25th workshop, planners heard some great ideas and feedback from the public at PCC Southeast. 

A series of Stakeholder Working Group meetings are being held through May to discuss design issues and code concepts in detail. The first meeting was held on March 7 in Gateway and focused on East Portland design and development issues. Popular ideas for multifamily development in East Portland included: shared outdoor areas for play areas, gardening and gatherings; preserving Douglas Firs and other large trees; saving the interior areas of blocks for more open and green space; and creating more opportunities for small businesses along major traffic corridors.

You can learn about these and other concepts — and contribute your own ideas — at upcoming events near you. Learn by visiting the project website.