Downtown housing

Vacant office space in downtown Portland.

The City Council passed two ordinance to encourage converting vacant downtown Portland office buildings into housing on Wednesday, March 15. Both attempt to address the high cost of bringing such buildings up to current earthquake standards.

But the council also released the results of a survey that shows more changes are needed for many conversions to happen quickly. They included reforming the construction permitting process and reducing the cost of other requirements imposed by the city.

Jim Redden is a reporter based in Portland, Ore.

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