Preserving rental housing in Eugene: the negative impact of Airbnb + other short-term rentals

When I moved back to Eugene a year and a half ago and began encouraging Seattle friends to visit me, I was surprised but pleased to see hundreds of Eugene listings on Airbnb. My friends could have much to choose from — everything from a campsite in a backyard ($20/night) to an entire unoccupied 6-bedroom […]

Some options for older homeowners with now-too-big houses

The developer of our microhousing community writes to me: <A situation worth exploring is providing incentives to older citizens who live in homes that once accommodated their large families … encouraging them to move and converting their residences to multi-family occupancies….> Yes, although to get them to move, there need to be appealing smaller places […]

How Eugene can reduce its (our) carbon emissions

The City of Eugenes latest effort to Engage me — this time a survey about its Climate Action Plan, years in the making but achieving only 40% of its essential goal — asks, <As the City Council reviews these additional policy options to mitigate carbon, is there any specific feedback you would like to provide?> […]

Quads: affordable living, open to all Eugeneans

13th&Olive is an orange-and-pink intrusion at the southern edge of downtown that most Eugeneans love to hate. Its three massive (for Eugene), garishly colored buildings loom over the street, with no setbacks or (on Willamette Street, its most prominent face) street trees to soften the blow. Nor does it have any street-level retail to invite […]

My three minutes at Build Small Live Large 2019

I am excited to be one of the five micro-friendlies on the closing panel, Housing Stories and Innovations, at the annual Build Small Live Large Summit, to be held in Portland this Thursday. (It is still not too late to register!) Our role is to put a human face on the abstractions discussed at the […]

Being kind to our unhoused neighbors means creating housing they can afford

I have been having an ongoing dialogue on Facebook, and in a meeting this past week, with some of the folks behind a free, somewhat mysterious event called the Choose Kindness Celebration, to be held today (Sunday) at a swanky downtown Eugene venue, the Shedd Institute for the Arts. The event will feature (I have […]

We need a Levittown of tiny houses

In the previous post, I wrote about the bungalow court, the predominant form of multi-family housing in Southern California from the 1910s through the 1930s and a cousin of the cottage cluster that is perhaps more prevalent in the Northwest. Reading its Wikipedia entry: <… a style of multi-family housing which features several small houses […]

How tiny is tiny?

A member of a Facebook group on housing recently asked this question about a project to build tiny houses for veterans in southern Oregon. And since starting Springfield/Eugene MicroDwellers, I’ve often been asked it too. (Is our culture obsessed with size?) For an expert opinion, I reached out to Renee McLaughlin, organizer of annual TinyFests […]