Test Your Eugene Housing Literacy!

In our conversations with Eugeneans, especially longtime homeowners, we have found that many lack basic information about the housing situation in Eugene today.

We hope this test can be a tool for deepening understanding, starting conversations, and broadening the dialogue about the many solutions that are needed.

First, take the test (without answers) at bit.ly/housing-test; then check below to see how you did.

If you find the test useful, share the link with your friends and neighbors. Feel free to share printed copies of the test too.

  1. What percentage of Eugeneans are renters? (Nationwide: 36%.)
  2. What is a standard rent for a newer downtown Eugene studio apartment or small 1BR apartment?
    Rents at Broadway Place Apartments begin at $1,151 for the smallest studio (490sf); the still-to-be-built Ferry Street Manor said its rents will begin at $1,100 for a studio. The median rent in Eugene overall is $1,058.
  3. What is the monthly income of the median Eugene renter household?
    Around $2,170, or $26,000/year.
  4. What percentage of Eugene renter households are cost-burdened (pay more than 30% of their income for rent)?
    Nationwide, it is 48%.
  5. What is the rental vacancy rate in Eugene? (Nationwide: 7%.)
  6. How many applications did Emerald Village Eugene receive for a single vacancy in October 2019?
    85. The new resident was chosen by lottery and then vetted.
  7. How many backyard cottages (ADUs) have been built in Eugene since 2014, when the City Council imposed a host of restrictions on them?
    Only about two per year from 2015 through 2017.

    ADUs are one of many ways to create more housing with no public subsidy. Portland has seen a gradual rise over the past decade, from 60 in 2010 to 600 per year today. When LA removed its barriers, permits for ADU construction soared, from 257 in 2016 to 3,818 in 2017. Because of their small size, ADUs can cut lifetime carbon emissions by up to 40% compared with a medium-sized single-family home.
  8. How many unrelated people can legally share a 10-bedroom house in a residential neighborhood in Eugene?
    Eugene’s occupancy limit for unrelated people is five. This outdated rule has been removed as a Fair Housing violation by a number of cities, including Bend, but remains on the books here as of this writing.
  9. What percentage of Eugene land used for housing currently allows only single-family homes?
    About 80%. (Typical of many US cities.)

    This is now set to change gradually over time. A state law passed in 2019 provides that by 2022, smaller forms such as duplexes, quadplexes, townhouses, and cottage clusters shall be allowed in residential neighborhoods. (Note: Larger forms, such as apartment or condo buildings, are not included in this law.)
  10. Why doesnt Eugene have a home-sharing program that matches homeowners with people needing an affordable place to live?
    Trick question: We are currently helping Home Share Oregon prepare to launch statewide, including in Lane County! Sign up for the e-newsletter on the website to stay apprised of its progress.

Want to learn more and join other Eugeneans working for housing solutions? For starters, we recommend:

  • Springfield/Eugene MicroDwellers, a Meetup group and civic network for those interested in small affordable housing
  • Better Housing Together, a coalition of dozens of local organizations concerned about housing, including civic groups such as AARP Oregon, BRING, FOOD for Lane County, the League of Women Voters, the NAACP Eugene/Springfield branch, 1000 Friends of Oregon, the United Way of Lane County, and Womenspace
  • Home Share Oregon, a statewide program connecting homeowners with compatible renters, preparing to launch this spring
  • Springfield Eugene Tenant Association, which operates a tenant hotline
  • WECAN Eugene, which advocates for ADUs and walkable neighborhoods
  • YIMBYES (Yes In My Back Yard Eugene/Springfield, which produces a podcast on housing topics

Published by Sherri Schultz

Writer & change-maker exploring micro-dwelling in Eugene, Oregon. Founder of Springfield/Eugene MicroDwellers: https://www.meetup.com/Micro-dwellers .

Join the Conversation


  1. This quiz was quite an eye opener. Is there a way you can post this on neighborhoods on NextDoor? There is so much misinformation and political posturing being passed along about the causes of homelessness in Eugene that this grounded information would be very welcome.


    1. Thank you so much for posting it there! (A friend let me know.)

      I have spent a lot of time on Nextdoor providing facts in response to misstatements or genuine questions. There are a lot of folks (especially longtime homeowners) who simply dont realize the situation has changed so much since they were renting or buying. I do want to help these folks understand, so we can hopefully move forward as a community.

      But on the other hand, it can be such a toxic environment. I have had to limit my exposure severely (I just get a weekly digest of top posts), which is a shame, because Nextdoor has much capacity for good. Reading this was the final straw — it is not just here, it is like this everywhere: https://onezero.medium.com/how-nextdoor-encourages-hate-of-the-homeless-9200475cda43

      Perhaps the solution is for us all to take turns being the truth squad, then pass the baton to another. Happy holidays 🙂


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