Build Small, Live Large 2019 Summit
Wednesday, October 9, 2019 - 8:00am to Wednesday, October 9, 2019 - 5:00pm

What: Build Small, Live Large 2019 Summit

Title: The Missing Middle

When: Nov. 7 & 8, 2019

Where: Portland State University’s Smith Center in Portland, OR

Details: Full day program Nov. 7, bus tour and ADU Academy Nov. 8

Registration and information

Description: Be part of the movement to create sustainable and equitable communities by attending Build Small Live Large! This biennial event is where innovators share what’s working in their cities, and promote the best strategies to regulate, design, build, and finance smaller homes and “Missing Middle” housing options. The 2019 Summit champions more inclusive neighborhoods, showcases more affordable and efficient housing options, and outlines how to get them built in your communities. It brings together policymakers, planners, builders, developers, and real estate and banking institutions to move the housing industry toward smaller footprint living.

Build Small Live Large 2019: Biennial Event Brings Experts, Advocates Together to Advance More Affordable, Sustainable Housing

Contact: Rebecca Small,

In response to a national demand for greater diversity in housing options, government leaders, activists, and policymakers will convene the Build Small Live Large Summit in Portland in November. The mission of the Summit, presented by the Build Small Coalition, is to discuss ways to enable and encourage the development of smaller homes in cities across the U.S., while also addressing the barriers to affordable, livable housing for all members of the community. Earlybird pricing for the event closes on Oct. 18.

The Build Small Live Large Summit is a two-day biennial event intended for the full spectrum of housing professionals. At Build Small, participants will share and explore emerging strategies for advancing “missing middle” housing –- ADUs, small plexes, co-housing, townhomes –– in America’s increasingly unaffordable cities.

Day One- Nov. 7 - is packed with concurrent sessions that will focus on specific topics related to greater housing diversity and will feature a keynote address exploring the socioeconomic factors that have led to exclusionary housing practices and patterns.

Add ons: not included in Summit fee:
Day Two--Nov. 8--features a housing bus tour presented by the Fair Housing Council of Oregon and the ADU Academy.

Day One Sessions and Keynote

More than three-dozen speakers will address topics such as:

  • How better zoning can encourage housing affordability and integration
  • The environmental benefits of smaller homes (energy consumption & sprawl reduction)
  • How to advance pro-housing policy politically
  • The return to the traditional role played by single-room-occupancy (SRO) dwellings in urban housing
  • New innovations in ADUs as well as progress in former barriers such as financing and design

One of the summit’s key focuses will be ongoing efforts to revise exclusionary zoning codes that maintain economic and racial segregation. Keynote speaker Richard Rothstein, Distinguished Fellow of the Economic Policy Institute and author of The Color of Law, will detail how actions taken by federal, state and local governments have created and maintained racial segregation in urban areas that exists to this day.

The first panel of the event: “Changing the rules for residential neighborhoods: More choices, smaller homes,” will feature panelists who have been on the front lines of efforts to dismantle exclusionary zoning, including Annie Fryman, a policy aide to California State Sen. Scott Wiener, and Taylor Smiley Wolfe, former aide to Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek. Both played key roles in significant state zoning legislation initiatives.

Addressing the housing crisis demands more, however, than legislation. Another panel, “Is this thing working? Measuring the effect of your housing tools and incentives,” will offer guidance from industry experts on how to track whether new policies are actually producing more housing. 

Day Two Add-Ons: Practical Educational Opportunities

Day Two’s Friday Bus Tour will provide an opportunity to explore Portland’s thriving housing market as well as its own discriminatory housing history. Ironically, this city known for housing innovations was once known for its discriminatory policies, which included exclusionary and even outright racist housing regulations. Get on the bus and learn about Portland’s bumpy housing history.

Participants will also be able to attend the ADU Academy, an educational event about ADUs for industry professionals. Specifically, it’s for designers, builders, lenders, realtors, appraisers, real estate investors, and developers. A full day of sharing experiences and building your knowledge on the accessory dwelling housing market. The Academy is presented by Kol Peterson, a Portland-based national ADU expert and advocate.

About the Coalition

The Build Small Coalition is a group of public, private and nonprofit partners. Working together, they promote the small-house movement — from creating awareness about smaller homes, including ADUs — to helping advance policies, regulations, and financing tools that will make it easier to build and pay for them. Metro convenes the Coalition as part of its Equitable Housing Initiative.

Summit Sponsors

The Build Small Coalition convenes the 2019 Build Small Live Large Summit with Metro, the elected regional government for the Portland metropolitan area. Metro is committed to working with partners across the region to find opportunities for innovative approaches and policies that result in more people being able to find a home that meets their needs and income levels.

The Summit receives additional support from the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD). DLCD is a small state agency working in partnership with local governments, and state and federal agencies. It addresses the land use needs of the public, communities, regions, and the state.

The Summit is also sponsored by Oregon TGM. The Transportation and Growth Management program (TGM) is a partnership of the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD) and Oregon Department of Transportation. The program helps governments across Oregon with skills and resources to plan long-term, sustainable growth in their transportation systems in line with other planning for changing demographics and land uses.

Other sponsors include: AARP, Craft3, Energy Trust, Equity Atlas, NW Natural, Sam Chase, 3J, City of Portland BPS, Consolidated Community Credit Union, the Fair Housing Council, HBA of Portland, and Sightline Institute.