Medford May Extend ADU Housing Incentive Program

MEDFORD, Ore. — Additional funding has been unanimously approved by the Medford City Council for its ADU Housing Incentive Program. This follows a council meeting held yesterday.

Councilors considered a resolution at their meeting to allocate $100,000 in ARPA funds to grow the Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADA) Housing Program, which goes towards reducing public infrastructure fees. During the meeting, Sheila Giorgetti confirmed that the goal of the program is to produce 30 to 40 units per year and that this goal has been maintained.

Matt Brinkley, Medford Planning Director, indicated that ARPA funds were used for this program in the past and that the ADU program has already seen great success. While the city has more than quadrupled its targets for building new ADUs, more money is needed to sustain the program.

The smaller dwelling units deliver benefits to both the community and the homeowner, and Brinkey also confirmed that- along with being a more affordable housing option, ADUs could be a possible income stream for homeowners.


What Is ADU And SDC?

Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) are defined in the Medford Land Development Code (MLDC) as ” a detached or attached dwelling unit… additional and auxiliary to a single-family dwelling, on the same tax lot.”

The System Development Charge (SDC) Reduction program was implemented to encourage the building of ADUs and save property owners money. City-assessed SDC charges will be reduced by 50% for new ADU building permits but this doesn’t include Sanitary Sewer Treatment and the cost of building permit fees is also not included in the program. Existing ADUs do not qualify as the program only applies to new ADU building permits.

The ADU program can’t be used for short-term rental such as AirBnB, and the council has five permit-ready ADU plans available on their website ranging from a 364 square foot studio unit to a 2 bedroomed unit of 896 square feet.


More information is available from the city on their website at Medford, Oregon, or by email at [email protected].

Funds are only available until they are exhausted, and there are specific steps that need to be followed to apply. These include:

  • A Restrictive Covenant (view sample) must be executed and recorded with Jackson County at the expense of the applicant. Once filed in Jackson, the covenant must be filed with the City of Medford before the permit is issued. The link provided is an example only, so care must be taken not include the sample in the ADU application.
  • The Request Form should be downloaded, filled out, and returned to the city. Ensure that your email address is correct as this is how Medford will communicate with applicants.
  • A copy of the property deed or title report must be submitted with the request, as the city needs to confirm the ownership and legal description of the property
  • All documents must be included with the building permit application.
  • It is important that the ADU SDC Reduction Request form is submitted together with permit applications.


Brinkley said that because there is so much interest in the ADU  program, and it has been so successful, they keep using up the money that they have available for it.


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