Joe Cortright, a Portland economist who often addresses public policy issues, has long taken a dim view of one of the proposed solutions to Portland's housing squeeze—inclusionary zoning.
Earlier this year, Oregon lawmakers overturned a statewide ban on inclusionary zoning, which requires developers to include affordable, or below market-rate units in new multi-family housing projects.
The idea is that when a new apartment tower rises in the Pearl District or South Waterfront or any other residential area of the central city, it would include apartments available at discounted rates.
Oregon and Texas were previously the only two states the prohibited inclusionary zoning and some affordable housing advocates have touted the policy as an approach to increasing the supply of housing here.
But in remarks yesterday to the Northwest Chapter of the Urban Land Institute, Cortright cited research from other cities where inclusionary zoning has been implemented. The findings: inclusionary zoning does not produce enough new housing units to make a difference.
In coming months, Portland City Council will debate how to implement inclusionary zoning here.
Cortright cautioned against expecting too much:
"The bigger concern about inclusionary zoning is that it tends to drive up the cost of building new housing, thereby restricting supply, and actually aggravating market-wide affordability problems," Cortright said in his remarks.