Home Forward is dedicated to providing safe, decent, and affordable housing for people in need. Home Forward was originally established in 1941 to meet the sudden demand of housing in the Portland area during World War II. Since that time, it has evolved into a broad-reaching agency that develops and manages a range of affordable housing options. Home Forward serves all of Multnomah County, including the cities of Portland and Gresham, since 1992. The agency owns 2,600 public housing and 3,700 affordable housing and administers 8,200 Section 8 housing assistance vouchers. Home Forward is now the largest provider of affordable housing in Oregon.
The Board of Commissioners oversees Home Forward and is responsible for establishing policy and approving its annual budget. Each Board member is recommended by the jurisdiction he or she serves: four appointments are recommended by the City of Portland, two by the City of Gresham, two by Multnomah County and one representing the residents of Home Forward housing. The recommended members are appointed by the Mayor of Portland and confirmed by the Portland City Council. Board members are volunteers serving staggered four-year terms.