Skip to Main Content View Text-Only

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

More Contact Info

Subscribe to RSS feed

Most Recent

View More

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

Friday, November 21, 2014
10am - 12pm

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 or 503-988-6537.



PHB Announces New Investments in Ending Homelessness

PHB has awarded $750,000 for three proposals addressing housing access for those experiencing homelessness

In September, the Portland Housing Bureau (PHB) made $750,000 available for proposals aimed at permanently housing people experiencing homelessness and housing instability in our community. By the October 24 deadline, PHB had received proposals totaling more than $2,500,000.

City staff and external evaluators scored the proposals on a variety factors including cost effectiveness and services to priority populations identified in the A Home for Everyone community-wide plan to end homelessness. These include families with children, unaccompanied youth, adults with disabilities, women, and veterans.

PHB is pleased to announce that the following proposals have been selected for funding:

•             Native American Youth and Family Center (NAYA) submitted a successful proposal on behalf of the Homeless Family System of Care (HFSC). Per NAYA’s request, $355,000 will be managed by Multnomah County to supplement the amount of rent assistance available for families experiencing homelessness. Partners include NAYA, Self Enhancement Inc., JOIN, Portland Homeless Family Solutions, Catholic Charities’ El Programa Hispano, 211info, and Human Solutions. Some of the funding will support families exiting domestic violence situations.

•             JOIN has been awarded $285,000 to expand a successful partnership with Cascadia Behavioral Healthcare and the Portland Police Bureau to serve people experiencing homelessness who have frequent police contact. These funds will allow the continuation of housing placement for people who face multiple barriers to finding their own home.

•             Catholic Charities’ Housing Transitions Program was awarded $110,000 in partnership with Rose Haven, Easter Seals, and Salvation Army Female Emergency Shelter. Together, they will help women who are experiencing homelessness move from the streets or shelter back into housing.

"This combination of services and partnerships ensures that the majority of the vulnerable populations identified in our community plan to end homelessness, A Home for Everyone, will be served through both new ongoing dollars," say Portland Housing Bureau Director Traci Manning. "With established partnerships already in place, as well as capacity and experience, these organizations are ready to start housing placements immediately."