City of Medford to discuss bringing Cottage Housing Project to the city

Update: 3/25/2019- 

The planning commission held a meeting Monday afternoon as it considers the concept of cottage housing and what that would look like within the city.

“Cottage housing will meet the needs of today’s smaller household size.  There’s a sense of community built into this.  We would like to see cottage housing as an option for developers in a variety of neighborhoods,” said Matt Brinkley, planning director with the City of Medford.

The commission will meet again in May and look at what a finalized code amendment would look like.

If approved, the city council could vote on it in June.

MEDFORD, Ore. — The City of Medford is in the early stages of discussing the development of cottages, in an effort to bring more affordable housing options to the city.

Last fall, Medford City Council held a joint study session with a planning commission to discuss cottage housing.  Current city code doesn’t allow for their development, which means they’d have to write up a code amendment to make it possible.

Chad McComas, executive director for Rogue Retreat, told us he believes cottage housing would not only benefit the homeless, but the entire city.

“There’s a lot of great programs out there trying to help people find housing, but we have such a lack of housing in this community. That’s why rents are going up, because a lack of availability,” McComas said. “The more that we provide, the rents will come down.”

Angelo Short, a man who is currently living on the streets with his disabled mom, told NBC5 News that offering affordable smaller homes could be the first step to a better life for area homeless.

“It’s a good stepping stone to get people the responsibility, getting them to feel like they can do it,” Short said. “It’s a little cottage house, maybe one thing. But then you figure, one day you may have your own two-bedroom house. And then a car and a bank account.”

A representative with the city tells us there are a lot of steps the cottage housing idea would need to go through before it could become a reality. If they did decide to amend the current city code that prevents its development, that amendment would need to be approved, the planning commission would need to recommend a concrete proposal to city councilors, and then the idea would go to the council for a final approval.

The concept will be discussed on Monday, March 25 at a planning commission study session. Stay with NBC5 News for developments.

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