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The city of Newberg will focus on a handful of initiatives involving affordable housing this year, including its needs analysis

The city of Newberg will focus on a handful of initiatives involving affordable housing this year, including its needs analysis.

According to city documents, the City Council conducted a final review of the Housing Newberg proposals in 2017, which told staff to work on four topics for the following years. Those topics included urban growth boundary expansions; accessory dwelling units; a construction excise tax and missing middle housing (such as duplexes and triplexes in the R-1 District). So far, city staff has completed the urban growth expansion program and the accessory dwelling unit program. The next two projects are construction excise tax and missing middle housing.

There were other proposals the council did not direct Housing Newberg to pursue in 2017, including subsidized work and living spaces, public street standards, expedited review and permitting and others.

Also according to council documents, there was an additional subset of potential areas to review, including: decreasing time from substantial completion of utilities to final plat approval; reducing complexity, maintaining requirements and cost of storm water treatment; lifting building height restrictions outside of downtown; lifting restrictions on second kitchens in residences to allow for accessory dwelling units; and monitoring impact of short-term and vacation rentals in residential neighborhoods.

Newberg is also required to submit housing data to the state, as all cities and towns are. According to council documents, this data was required by Feb. 1 and it required the city completie a survey between Oct. 1 and Dec. 1, 2018, and provide a report on this meeting because Newberg has 25 percent or more of its rental homes that cost tenants half or more of their income.

"This work program was not known about at the time of the Housing Newberg proposals," council documents read. "The survey has been completed, the public meeting was held on Dec. 18, 2018, and building permit data was collected. Information on the public meeting and building permit data was submitted on Jan. 30 and met the Feb. 1 deadline."

Council documents also stated the city was awarded a grant from the Department of Land Conservation and Development to conduct a housing needs analysis, which must be completed by the end of June.

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