Providing housing options is a priority citywide, including in River Terrace. For this reason, the city will apply its existing affordable housing program to River Terrace, with updates to the citywide program expected next year.

In general, there is a need for less expensive ownership units and rental units in Tigard, according to the city’s recent housing study. This is not uncommon as the lowest income households struggle to find housing of any type that keeps costs at 30% of gross income. This means that low to moderate income families are at risk of needing to spend a large portion of their income on housing, which may not leave enough for other essentials.

Tigard’s Affordable Housing Program addresses affordability citywide. In addition, the city has Housing Code Updates planned in the near future to further address the city’s need for affordable housing. Both will apply to River Terrace and are described below.

According to recent studies, when affordable housing is included in the range of housing choices it is good for everyone: A 2011 study by the Center for Housing Policy links the presence of affordable housing with job creation and local economic development.


Affordable Housing Program

Land use strategies adopted

  • Reduced parking requirements for affordable housing projects. This reduces the total cost of development.
  • Allowance of accessory dwelling units (ADU). An ADU is an additional small housing unit that a single family homeowner may choose to build on their property. This is often used to provide an affordable option for elderly family members.

Non-land use strategies in place

  • A tax abatement program for owners or leaseholders of property used to provide affordable housing. This may allow reduced rents or reduced monthly homeowner housing costs.
  • A budget set-aside to reduce fees and charges imposed on affordable housing development.
  • Financial support for the operation of the Tigard-based Good Neighbor Center homeless shelter located on Greenburg Road.
  • Identification and pursuit of available grants to fund public improvements serving low income neighborhoods and areas that include affordable housing.
  • A Housing Inspection Program to maintain the quality of the city’s existing housing stock.
  • An Enhanced Safety Program, administered through the Tigard Police Department, to reduce crime and increase the livability of rental properties.
  • Membership in the County-wide Housing Advocacy Group which monitors affordable housing throughout Washington County.

Housing Code Updates

The Tigard Goal 10 Housing Strategies Report made several recommendations the city could undertake to be best prepared for future housing development in Tigard. A project to implement these code updates is scheduled to begin in early 2014. These strategies include:

  • Update the City’s Development Code to include provisions for:
    • “Cottage clusters” and “live-work” housing units;
    • Enhance provisions and standards related to accessory dwelling units and single family attached housing;
    • Refine parking requirements for senior and affordable housing developments in existing or future high capacity transit areas; and
    • Provide for density or height bonuses to promote affordable housing in selected areas.
  • Implement a variety of zoning, design and market-based strategies to promote development of a range of housing types in newly developing or future mixed use areas, including River Terrace.
  • As part of various planning, development, and permitting processes, provide information from other sources to housing developers, home builders, and landlords regarding fair housing goals and requirements, as well as design practices that help ensure accessibility for people with physical or mobility limitations, including older residents.