City of Madras Incentivizes Development of Housing


Central Oregon has a major housing shortage, and Madras is no exception. The Madras City Council has prioritized the problem in its strategic goals which led to the adoption of a Housing Action Plan in December 2018.  The action plan incentivizes building of new housing for all income levels.

Three efforts from the plan currently underway include: 1) decreasing System Development Charges (SDCs) by ordinance passage on April 23, 2019; 2) streamlining the renewal process for subdivisions with expired land use decisions; 3) to be completed by May 2019, a feasibility study for creating a new Housing Urban Renewal District (HURD) to help lower the costs and barriers for new housing, targeting implementation by fall 2019.

System Development Charge (SDC) Reductions

The SDC reductions are effective for a five-year period.

  1. 75% reduction for all SDCs for multi-family developments (4 or more units)
  2. 50% reduction for all SDCs for single-family dwellings sold at $240,000 or below (includes duplex and triplex units)
  3. 25% reduction for all SDCs for single-family dwellings sold above $240,000 (includes duplex and triplex units)

Encouraging Development of Previously Permitted Subdivisions

Several housing developers obtained land use approval for subdivisions permitted before 2010 that have since expired. Many of these subdivisions have not moved forward with new housing construction due to the current market dynamics of sale price versus cost & risk, contractor availability, and the high cost of public infrastructure (i.e. streets, road, sewer, water, parks, etc.).

The City will be working with developers to identify and overcome specific barriers to development and develop a tailored plan for each residential subdivision that includes action items and a timeline to help move the development forward quickly.

Housing Urban Renewal District

  1. Not a new tax; rather a re-direction of property tax revenue to help fund public infrastructure for new housing.
  2. The new District will encompass areas in Madras that contain mainly vacant residentially zoned properties. The District will provide assist builders in providing needed workforce, market rate, and multi-family housing in Madras.

While the City cannot solve all the issues with the housing market dynamics, the City believes the actions above will make a significant impact into driving more investment into new housing.   The City will continue to monitor progress and adjust its plan accordingly to meet its goal of providing more housing to our community.


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Founded in 1994 by the late Pamela Hulse Andrews, Cascade Business News (CBN) became Central Oregon’s premier business publication. •

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