Boulder Looks West To Solve Housing Crisis

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Bikers in Portland
The city of Portland, Oregon has an approach to affordable housing that could be a model for Boulder.

In the face of an affordable housing crisis, Boulder officials are looking to Portland, Oregon for answers. A group of 50 Boulders leaders -- from government, business and non-profits -- just returned from several days in Portland.

The delegation was particularly interested in Portland's policy regarding accessory dwelling units or ADUs -- often called "granny-flats" or "mother-in-law apartments." The policy encourages residents to convert or build living quarters on their property to rent out. The idea is to provide additional housing stock to the city.

The Boulder delegation was intrigued, says Alex Burness, who covered the visit for the Boulder Daily Camera.

"The room was kind of buzzing, honestly," Burness told Colorado Matters' Nathan Heffel. "I don't know if this is something that will translate. But it's something for Boulder leaders to chew on."

Portland, while much bigger than Boulder, is similar in its lack of available space for new housing, and for rising housing costs.