Copy of Housing

housing guiding principles

Salem recognizes the community’s right to safe, affordable, and life-enriching housing. The City encourages the production housing that meets the varied needs of its population at all price points. Salem also recognizes that quality housing can only exist where there is access to good jobs, transportation choice, and necessary community amenities.


Market rate housing should be affordable to people earning average wages.

Salem must meet the rising local and regional demand for housing with increased supply, or else costs will continue to rise beyond what is affordable for its diverse population. Though Salem can’t act alone to change the regional housing market, it can lead the region with a progressive approach to housing production.


Housing for lower income households requires special accommodation to produce.

Even with broad market affordability, Salem would still need safe and quality housing that is affordable to lower income households. It is unrealistic to assume the market will provide this, given the increased costs and barriers to financing that affordable housing developers face. Salem must help affordable housing developers lower their costs (either through low cost land, as-of-right regulatory processes, or otherwise).


Housing should be safe, healthy, and resilient.

Housing design, siting, and maintenance should ensure that housing safe to inhabit. Housing should promote healthy choices and healthy communities, and be able to withstand environmental and social shocks, particularly those associated with climate change.


Housing designs must meet the varied needs of diverse residents, and there should be real housing choices for all.

Salem residents and its future residents have different wants and needs. Large families have different needs than young singles. The aging and people with disabilities have unique requirements for their housing and the surrounding areas. Needs and wants vary, and Salem’s housing should account for that variation. Furthermore, Salem’s housing should not provide any group with only one choice.


Housing should be part of a complete neighborhood.

Housing doesn’t work if it is not integrated with other uses like employers, retail, civic and open spaces, a robust transportation system and community spaces like libraries.

Imagine Salem Guiding Principles