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Portland Housing Bureau

Solving the unmet housing needs of the people of Portland.

Phone: 503-823-2375

fax: 503-823-2387

421 SW 6th Avenue, Suite 500, Portland, OR 97204

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Daily Journal of Commerce: Affordable Housing Projects Will Surge in 2015

Eight Portland Housing Bureau projects are slated for development or completion in 2015

"Affordable housing project will surge in 2015"

December 26, 2014
By Inka Bajandas, Daily Journal of Commerce

The Portland Housing Bureau is tackling eight affordable housing projects, and ground is scheduled to be broken on four of them in 2015.

LMC Construction crews are scheduled to start work in May 2015 on the $12.6 million, 47-unit Miracles Central project at 1306 N.E. Second Ave., Portland Housing Bureau spokeswoman Martha Calhoon said. The permanent housing complex designed by Carleton Hart Architecture will cater to individuals recovering from alcohol and drug dependency.

Construction is scheduled to start in early 2015 on a $4 million renovation of the 64-unit Allen Fremont senior housing complex at 221 N.E. Fremont St. Neither an architect nor a general contractor has been hired yet.

Two other senior affordable housing complexes – the 50-unit Bronaugh at 1434 S.W. Morrison St. and the 301-unit Westmoreland Union Manor at 16404 S.E. 23rd Ave. – are slated to receive renovations next year. The $13.4 million Bronaugh renovation is being designed by Carleton Hart Architecture. The $46.9 million Westmoreland Union Manor renovation is being designed by MWA Architects. Walsh Construction Co. will be the contractor for both projects.

A couple of new affordable housing complexes have entered the early stages of design. The NAYA Generations project is sponsored by the Native American Youth and Family Center and the St. Francis Park project is sponsored by Caritas Housing Initiatives.

Click here to read the full article from the Daily Journal of Commerce.

Severe Weather Notice for December 29 - 31

picture of a thermometerSevere Weather Notice: The National Weather Service forecasts lows between 7 degrees and 29 degrees with wind chill for the evenings of Monday, December 29 through Wednesday, December 31, 2014.

Anyone seeking shelter should contact 211info (by dialing 2-1-1). 211info will be available to identify shelter and warming center resources 24/7. Additionally, shelter information is available at

Community Voices Continue to Shape N/NE Neighborhood Housing Strategy

Ongoing community partnerships will be at the heart of the city's anti-displacement initiative in North and Northeast Portland

From the very beginning, community voices have driven the initiative to dedicate an extra $20 million to affordable housing in North and Northeast Portland. As the Portland Housing Bureau (PHB) moves closer to a plan for how to invest that money, community voices continue to play a key role in guiding the work.

Picture of Mayor with 2 pastors

Together with Bishop Steven Holt of the International Fellowship Family, PHB co-hosted a gathering of North and Northeast Portland faith leaders this month, along with Mayor Charlie Hales, to continue the conversation of how to best serve a community deeply impacted by a long history of displacement.They discussed the challenges that inadequate parking places on the elderly, and stories of former neighbors who now come from as far as Damascus, Oregon and Woodland, Washington to access necessary services. Those who provided transitional shelter to vulnerable populations were concerned that there would be no permanent housing for them. Others spoke of the generation of young adults who will soon be leaving their parents' homes, but will have nowhere else to go in the neighborhoods — or the City — where they grew up.

Beyond housing, they spoke of the need to rebuild a sense of community. They reminisced about historic neighborhood businesses like House of Sound, Dean's Barbershop, and Neighborhood Bill's, and they shared the alienation of many who say the neighborhoods where they once attended elementary school no longer feel familiar to them. 

Five of these faith leaders, including Bishop Holt, have agreed to remain involved in this work as the initiative moves forward. They are Dr. Mark Strong of Life Change, Paula Dennis and Janice Norris of Blessed Temple Community Church, and Reverend Lynne Smouse Lopez of Ainsworth United Church of Christ

Continue Reading.

Severe Weather Notification for December 2

The Portland Housing Bureau has issued a Severe Weather Notification tonight due to forecasted freezing temperatures.

Severe Weather Alert

The National Weather Service forecasts low temperatures around 30 degrees and wind chill at 21-22 degrees after 10 PM for tonight, Tuesday, December 2, 2014.

Anyone seeking shelter should contact 211info, reached by dialing 2-1-1. 211info will be available to identify shelter and warming center resources 24/7. Additionally, shelter information is available at

Service providers who would like to update information about services they offer during Severe Weather Notices, please call Troy Hammond at (503) 504-9867.


City Explores Zoning Updates to Boost Affordable Housing Development

The Portland Housing Bureau (PHB) and the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability have begun work to develop a new set of tools that will allow the City to leverage market booms to increase affordable housing options.

Unlike “Inclusionary Zoning,” which mandates affordable development elsewhere but is currently prohibited by Oregon law, “Incentive Zoning” provides bonuses to developers who voluntarily include affordable units, and other public benefits, in proposed projects. Incentives for providing public benefits—from eco roofs to bicycle parking to affordability—already exist in Portland’s zoning codes. However, density bonuses intended to encourage affordable housing production may not be commensurate with what developers forfeit by providing below-market units and traditionally haven’t gotten much use.

The City plans to change that. At the end of November, the City’s Executive Oversight Committee (including PHB staff) met with Otak consultants to begin exploring best practices for ownership and rental housing—across the country and internationally—that could be successfully replicated in Portland. The study will also produce economic models that will better match the value of density bonuses with the cost to developers of providing various public benefits.

“The idea is to have a financial model that will stand the test of time and remain effective in different kinds of markets,” says PHB Director Traci Manning.

Otak will work with Economic & Planning Systems (EPS) on the financial modeling, having recently completed similar projects in Seattle and Denver. The process will include round-tables with developers and stakeholders. An initial proposal is due to City Council in the spring, with specific recommendations to follow in early summer.

Manning adds that the study will be an important tool for a number of current and future City planning processes.

“This is a balancing act,” Manning says. “We have to provide density bonus options within the zoning code that are correctly sized to attract developers to include affordable housing in their projects. This process moves the City toward a solution that will help us address the need for affordable housing while also encouraging the type of growth that will allow Portland achieve its economic goals.”