Portland To Allow Tiny Homes With Conditions

In Building Codes, Live Legally by Janet Thome


Portland Oregon Allows Tiny Homes And RVS With Conditions

Statement from Portland commissioner Eudaly “Housing is a basic need and a human right. We have failed to keep up with demand for affordable housing for decades. As the City Commissioner with responsibility for the Bureau of Development Services, which enforces local building codes, I have asked the bureau to de prioritize enforcement against tiny homes and people sleeping in RVs parked on private property effective immediately.” BDS staff will begin work on developing code language to permanently allow tiny homes in conformance with HB 2737 and will continue to de prioritize enforcement against sleeping RVs on private property throughout the housing emergency. HB 2737 passed in 2017.

HB 2737 Guidelines In Portland

Parking lots of non-residential occupied structures (religious institution, place of worship, business, or public entity)

Property owner may grant permission for up to three vehicles (vehicle, motorhome, camper trailer, etc.) for sleeping.

Properties with Single Family Structures or Duplexes

  • Property owner and tenant may grant permission for one vehicle for sleeping.
  • Vehicles must be located in legal parking areas on the property. (meet Zoning Code requirements)

General requirements for all overnight sleeping arrangements


  • Property owner shall make available sanitary facilities.
  • Options include using sanitary facilities within the structure, pumping holding tanks off-site or having vendor pump out holding tank, or permitting and installing a legal sanitary dump station on site.
  • Portable toilets (with ongoing service and maintenance) are only allowed at non-residential properties.


  • Property owner shall make available electrical connections.
  • Options include extension cords from an approved outlet in the home or permitting and installing a pedestal for plug in.
  • No hard connections are allowed.
  • Use of generators is not allowed.
  • Property owner shall subscribe to and pay for garbage, recycling, and composting service.

 Latest Code Amendments For HB 2737 In 2018

  • A sleeping loft is permitted in any size dwelling unit.
  • A limit of one sleeping loft per dwelling unit
  • Dwellings that contain a sleeping loft may not be used for any other purpose other than as a detached one-family dwelling
  • Ladders and alternating tread devicesmay be used as primary means of access and egress from sleeping lofts in dwelling units 600 square feet or less.
  • Standard stairs are required to serve the sleeping loft where the dwelling unit is greater than 600 square feet
  • Specific fire protection requirements for dwelling units with a sleeping loft and wherefire separation distance is reduced

City may enforce Title 29.50.050 if it determines that the camping activity on the property constitutes a nuisance or other threat to the public welfare.

Additional Restrictions

  • Accessory Short Term Rental operations may not be operated out of vehicles (tiny homes, RVs, camper trailers, motor homes, etc.)
  • Tiny homes and RVs continue to be subject to restrictions noted in PCC 24.50.065 Recreational Vehicles located in Areas of Special Flood Hazard or Base Flood Zones.


For more information, please call the Planning and Zoning Hotline at (503) 823-7526

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