In January 2020, Senator of Nebraska Matt Hansen proposed a new bill to support affordable housing market, known as LB 794 or the Missing Middle Housing Act. The bill would give permission to build two-, three-, and four-family houses and cottage clusters on small residential clusters in Nebraska (with more than 5000 inhabitants or more), now exclusively intended for single-family houses. This new legislation, however, will not restrict the construction of new single-family houses.
An important reason for the proposition of the bill are the recently increased housing prices in Nebraska. For example, the prices of single-family housing near the metro areas such as Omaha had increased by 41% between 2012 and 2019. In other cities of Nebraska like Beatrice and Scottsbluff, the housing prices increased from 31 to 53%. (Furth, 2020)
Because the new legislation will only be activated in areas of 5000 inhabitants or more, only the bigger cities in Nebraska will be affected if the LB 794 passes. Only 32 cities in Nebraska qualify, while 498 other cities will be exempted from the new zoning regulations. (Furth, 2020)
A similar legislation on allowing multi-family housing in single-family zoned districts was adopted by Oregon in 2019. Following Oregon, Nebraska and several other states like Virginia, California and Maryland have proposed changes in their residence zoning regulations. (Braussel, 2020)