Those looking to live in Salem have more options as the number of apartments being built in Salem has skyrocketed in recent years. In the past three years, the City issued building permits for 1,317 multifamily units. That is more than the total number issued over the 10 prior years combined: 1,298 units. This recent surge in housing choices meets a need that is expected to continue over the next few decades.
According to the 2015 Salem Housing Needs Analysis, the Salem area is expected to grow by nearly 60,000 people by 2035. This growing population will need a mix of smaller and less expensive units, and more housing types, including more multifamily housing, according to the study.
The community and City of Salem recognized the need to increase affordable housing options as part of the recent strategic planning initiative. The 2017 Salem Strategic Plan, which articulates goals for the City, identified affordable housing as a priority.
Here are a few examples how the City is encouraging more housing choices in Salem:
Land Supply and Land Use Regulations
- The City is working to increase the amount of land that can be developed into multifamily housing. The 2015 Housing Needs Analysis showed that the Salem area has a projected 207-acre deficit of land for multifamily housing based on a 20-year population projection.
- In July 2017, the City changed its rules to allow accessory dwelling units, also known as mother-in-law units, in Salem. The City has approved 15 such units so far, with more under review.