Housing Innovation Partnership

The following organizations are members of the Oregon iSector’s Housing Innovation Partnership (HIP), a cross-sector partnership formed to address Oregon’s housing crisis. 
The lack of adequate and affordable housing in Oregon poses a major threat to our citizens, communities, and economy. It is estimated that we have a deficit of 150,000 homes statewide. Around 30,000 new housing units need to be produced each year for the next ten years in order to catch up with demand, but current production falls well short of that goal. The HIP’s housing innovators are developing a wide range of approaches to accelerate actions in closing Oregon’s dramatic gap in housing. 

Four Workgroups have been charged to address issues and explore innovation in the areas of Modular Housing, Middle Housing Financing and Incentives, Housing Research, and Local Capacity Building.

Modular Housing

The Modular Housing Workgroup is focused on examining the regulatory, sales, distribution, workforce, and market acceptance issues affecting the modular and prefabricated panels industry. They are working to create a strategy for greater use of off-site construction methods. Off-site production can help reduce construction time by 20-30%, and volumetric and panelized housing can address a range of housing types and markets, from disaster relief to middle housing. Mass timber can also play a critical role in this type of housing as the material can be digitally fabricated, sequesters carbon, and can increase economic development in rural communities.

Middle Housing Financing and Incentives

Middle housing is the level of housing needed for individuals with incomes that do not allow them to access public assitance, but who need housing that the market is not currently able to produce at affordable prices. It is generally for people earning between 80% and 120% of AMI. Whether it be modular or stick-built homes, there are no current incentives for this level of housing. The Middle Housing Workgroup was charged to develop financing models and incentives for this type of housing, considering incentives such as density bonuses, tax abatements, targeted technical assistance, and more.

Housing Research

The Research Workgroup has been charged to collaborate with all entities that can contribute to ongoing research around housing. They are working to coordinate the public, private, and civic research capabilities in a way that creates information supporting innovation to reduce Oregon’s housing deficit.

Local Capacity Building

Increasing the capacity and ability of local governments to carry out community development and housing construction activities is essential to increasing the state’s overall production of needed housing. Solving the current housing crisis will require, at a minimum, a strong collaboration between the State of Oregon and its local government partners. Most Local Comprehensive Plans were adopted over 45 years ago and need to be updated. To do this, cities and counties need staff that is not currently present. This Workgroup is charged with building the capacity for Local Governments to process and make modifications to plans and ordinances that will result in more housing production.