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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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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

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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 www.211info.org.

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.” 

Free Training: Supporting Domestic Violence Survivors in Home Forward Housing Programs

Friday, November 21: Learn about Home Forward and the YWCA's Domestic Violence Services innovative partnership

When
Friday, November 21, 2014
10am - 12pm

Where
Oregon Building
800 NE Oregon Street, Room 1E
Portland, OR 97205

Registration is required

Picture of a house

This training will:

•  provide a general overview of Home Forward housing programs,

•  explore the history and current goals of Home Forward's partnership with the YWCA,

•  discuss how survivors of domestic violence with safety concerns are supported in Home Forward housing, and

•  review options that survivors have to maintain safe housing and prevent homelessness as a result of domestic violence or stalking, and

•  review recent policy changes that give Home Forward residents experiencing domestic violence the possibility of obtaining a preference to transfer between different Home Forward housing programs as an option to achieve safety. 

This training is geared toward advocates working in the domestic violence, homeless, and housing systems.

To register, contact Shannon Rose at shannon.rose@multco.us or 503-988-6537.