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Zoning Code updates to increase shelter availability for people experiencing homelessness moves through Planning and Sustainability Commission (PSC)

After hearing public testimony on the Mass Shelters and Housing Zoning Code Update on September 13, the Planning and Sustainability Commission (PSC) held a work session on September 27 to discuss the proposal and make their recommendation to City Council.

The PSC recommendations provide more flexibility for the siting of mass shelters in zones where they are already allowed, including increasing the number of beds and reducing separation requirements between buildings. The new code also reduces parking requirements for some mass shelters and short-term housing.

The PSC recommended not to move forward with any permanent amendments affecting the process of design or historic review of affordable housing projects. This was based on a lack of case studies to determine the effectiveness of the current temporary measure as well as due to testimony received at the hearing. 

Read the Mass Shelters and Housing Zoning Code Update Recommended Draft.

City Council will hold a public hearing on November 2 to consider the PSC recommendation.

Portland City Council Hearing
Mass Shelters and Housing Zoning Code Update
November 2, 2016, 2:20 p.m.
City Hall Council Chambers 
1221 SW 4th Avenue

The public is also invited to testify in writing via:


U.S. Mail: Send to 1221 SW Fourth Avenue, Room 130, Portland, Oregon 97204

Written testimony must be received by the time of the hearing and must include your name and address. 

View the City Council hearing notice. 


In 2015, more than 4,300 Portlanders were placed in emergency shelters, and nearly 1,900 more were unable to find housing, even temporary housing. The code updates in this project respond to City Council’s direction to the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability to “simplify regulations, remove regulatory obstacles and expedite processes for land use reviews and permits for affordable housing projects, mass shelters and short-term housing” (Resolution #37196, passed on March 9, 2016).