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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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City Council Approves Deal for Pearl District Affordable Housing

Portland City Council voted today to approve a real estate deal between the Portland Housing Bureau (PHB) and private developer Hoyt Street Properties (HSP) for more affordable housing in the Pearl District. HSP will sell the quarter-block site on NW Raleigh Street to the City at the below-market price of $1.3 million. PHB hopes to develop the property for very low-income family housing.

"We know that people thrive when they live in areas with opportunities," said Housing Commissioner Dan Saltzman. "We are glad to be moving forward to create more housing options for vulnerable families in such a key location. "

The deal was part of an ongoing effort undertaken cooperatively by HSP and the City to ensure that private development in the Pearl District includes housing options for Portlanders of all income levels.

Last fall, HSP and PHB jointly determined that HSP would fall just short of a 1999 goal to maintain 35% affordability in the housing developed on its 34 acres of land in the Pearl District. Despite having recently closed on the Abigail Apartments to build 142 units of affordable family housing, 30% of nearly the 2,000 units across 14 projects were affordable as of September 2014. Factoring in other housing projects in the design, permitting, or construction stage brought that figure to 28%.  

The remedy, according to an agreement with the City, provided the opportunity for the City to acquire land from HSP for affordable housing at a below-market price. The City and HSP engaged three appraisers to arrive at a reduced purchase price—HSP agreed to reduce the price another $500,000 below that, bringing the final purchase price to $1.3 million —13% below the market value of $1.5 million.  

"It can be a real challenge to match the pace of the private market in a boom like what we have seen in the Pearl District and throughout the River District," said PHB Director Traci Manning. "We are thankful to Hoyt Street Properties for the concessions they have made in this process to ensure that this area provides adequate housing options for all Portlanders."

The 10,000-square-foot site on NW Raleigh Street, between 13th and 14th avenues, is conveniently located near public transit and is the only one of HSP’s available parcels on paved streets.

The deal is set to close on Friday. PHB expects to acquire the site before the end of April and begin soliciting a developer this summer.

Fair Housing Report Shows Some Gains and New Areas of Focus

Fair Housing logo

A report released by the Portland Housing Bureau and the Fair Housing Center of Washington in partnership with the Fair Housing Council of Oregon suggests that people from certain protected classes receive unequal treatment in Portland’s housing market, particularly on the basis of national origin. 

The report is the result of City-funded audit testing to identify possible violations of Fair Housing law. The Portland Housing Bureau (PHB) contracted with the Fair Housing Center of Washington (FHCW), in partnership with the Fair Housing Council of Oregon (FHCO), to conduct tests between October 2013 and December 2014.

Of 51 initial tests conducted in the first phase of testing, 19 (37%) showed adverse differential treatment toward testers belonging to a protected class (five on the basis of race, seven based on national origin, four based on familial status, three on the basis of disability). Another eight tests from the first phase were inconclusive.

Follow-up testing has been or is being conducted on the 27 that showed adverse treatment or were inconclusive. To date, one of these cases provides sufficient evidence of discrimination to support referral to the Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) for legal action. The most common issue identified was that testers from protected classes were given different information on rental terms and conditions, and unit availability.

“I am deeply troubled by the results of this testing. Everyone should have the same access to housing of their choice and should not be treated differently based on the color of their skin, their national origin, the size of their family, or their disability,” said Housing Commissioner Dan Saltzman.

A consortium made up of the City of Portland, Multnomah County, and the City of Gresham is using these results, as well as newly available data and mapping tools, in its Fair Housing Assessment, a precursor to the region’s Five-Year Consolidated Plan for federal spending priorities. In it, the governments will demonstrate the steps they are taking to further Fair Housing. This includes a study of segregation, disproportionate housing need, disparities in access to community assets and exposure to harmful community factors, complaint outcomes, and Fair Housing awareness.

The report may also reveal some gains. The tests showed fewer instances of differential treatment based on disability, particularly for persons requiring accommodations for service animals. Reasonable accommodations for people experiencing disability has been a strong area of focus in the City’s outreach and education investments.

“We still have work to do,” said PHB Director Traci Manning. “I am encouraged to see improvement in an area where we have made concentrated efforts, though we know people in our community living with a disability still experience discrimination in access to housing. The amount of differential treatment revealed in this report is very concerning, but this gives us areas of focus for next steps, and we are eager to bring our community together to tackle the issues.” 

Download the full report here.

Portland Housing Advisory Commission Seeks New Members

Click here to download a PDF of this announcement.

Portland Housing Advisory Commission (PHAC), a volunteer public advisory body that advises the Portland Housing Bureau’s Director, Housing Commissioner, and Portland City Council on a range of housing policy and program issues, seeks new members.

The mission of the Portland Housing Bureau (PHB) is to focus community resources on the unmet housing needs of the people of Portland. We accomplish this with expertise and direction from the PHAC. The PHAC promotes improvements within PHB and the larger housing system, advises on issues of equity in access and outcomes for Portlanders in PHB programs, and increases the profile of PHB in the community. The PHAC functions as PHB's Budget Advisory Committee, satisfying local requirements for citizen participation in the City’s annual budget process. In this role, the PHAC assists in aligning PHB’s resources—including federal funds, local general fund, and the “Affordable Housing Set-aside” of tax increment funds generated through urban renewal—to PHB's mission. The PHAC also plays a role in federal regulatory compliance. 

PHAC members are expected to have expertise in housing policy and planning, affordable housing financing and development, budget oversight and analysis, resource development to maintain and expand the supply and availability of affordable housing,  program development and evaluation, public-private partnership development, and community and intergovernmental relations.

To apply, click here for the application or find it posted here: www.portlandoregon.gov/phb/article/434287. Return the completed application to the Office of Neighborhood Involvement (ONI), who will forward your application to  PHB. Complete instructions are available on the form.

For more information, contact Matthew Tschabold at matthew.tschabold@portlandoregon.gov or 503-823-3607.

Portland Housing Bureau and Hoyt Street Properties Forge Deal for More River District Affordable Housing

The Portland Housing Bureau (PHB) has concluded a real estate negotiation to purchase land for affordable housing in the Pearl District from private developer Hoyt Street Properties (HSP). On April 22, Portland City Council will vote to on whether to approve the purchase of the quarter-block site on NW Raleigh Street at the below-market price of $1.3 million. 

"We are excited to be bringing more affordable housing to the Pearl District," said Housing Commissioner Dan Saltzman. "We know that people thrive when they live in areas with opportunities and this is a part of the city with substantial amenities and opportunity."

The deal is part of an ongoing effort undertaken cooperatively by HSP and the City to ensure that private development in the Pearl District includes housing options for Portlanders of all income levels.

Per a 1999 agreement with the City of Portland, 35% of housing units built on HSP’s 34 acres in the Pearl District would need to be meet affordability standards. In the event the target wasn't reached by specified dates, the agreement provided an opportunity for the City to acquire land for affordable housing at a below-market price.

Last fall, HSP and PHB jointly determined that HSP would fall just short of the goal, despite having recently closed on the Abigail Apartments to build 142 units of affordable family housing. Of nearly 2,000 units across 14 projects, 601 (or 30%) were affordable. Factoring in other housing planned for the area—including projects in the design, permitting, or construction stage as of September 2014—brought that figure to 28%.  

"It can be a real challenge to match the pace of the private market in a boom like what we have seen in the Pearl District and throughout the River District," said PHB Director Traci Manning. "We are proud of the thousands of affordable homes throughout the River District—and the families who have been able to live there—thanks to successful collaborations such as this. We also know we still have work to do."

The remedy, according to the agreement, entailed a six-month process whereby the City and HSP would identify a parcel and arrive at a purchase price using a calculation that factors in the value of HSP's improvements in the area as well as the City's infrastructure investments over time. The City and HSP followed the prescribed steps and engaged three appraisers to determine the final purchase price, which is 13% below the market value of $1.5 million. 

"It takes the efforts of many stakeholders working together to ensure that our neighborhoods are vibrant, successful, and provide adequate housing options for all Portlanders," said Commissioner Saltzman. "Private developers like Hoyt Street Properties are an important part of that work. We are glad to be moving forward on affordable housing in such a key location."

The 10,000-square-foot site on NW Raleigh Street, between 13th and 14th avenues, is conveniently located near public transit and is the only one of HSP’s available parcels on paved streets.

If approved by City Council on Wednesday, PHB expects to acquire the site before the end of April and begin soliciting a developer this summer.

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More Affordable Housing Planned for Portland's South Waterfront

Portland Housing Bureau, Home Forward, and the Portland Development Commission Partner to Increase South Waterfront Housing for Lowest-Income Portlanders

The Portland Development Commission (PDC), in partnership with the Portland Housing Bureau (PHB), released a Request for Proposals today for a new South Waterfront development that aims to create at least 200 affordable homes, as well as market-rate housing and commercial space. PDC, who owns the land, has made the site available for a joint mixed-use mixed-income development with PHB. As many as 90 of the housing units will be affordable to households earning less than 30% of the Median Family Income ($24,250 or below for a family of four) thanks to a  commitment from Home Forward to dedicate 80 rent assistance vouchers to the project, including 10 for homeless veterans. Home Forward’s contribution will also leverage other resources to support deeply affordable housing within the project.

“Through innovate thinking and collaboration, we are able to maximize affordable housing opportunities on this site,” said Commissioner Dan Saltzman. “South Waterfront offers many amenities and opportunities that should be available to Portlanders of all income levels.”  

The project is another step toward furthering the City’s affordable housing goals in the North Macadam Urban Renewal Area. “We offer our full support for this project, which is a key piece of our efforts in South Waterfront as we work to build a vibrant, diverse neighborhood,” said PDC executive director Patrick Quinton.

The project also aligns with the broader A Home For Everyone initiative. Earlier this year, the A Home For Everyone Executive Committee—including Commissioner Saltzman, Mayor Hales, and Michael Buonocore, Home Forward's executive director—approved a set of action plans to end Veteran homelessness across Multnomah County, and reduce unmet housing need among people experiencing homelessness by half over the next two years. 

The vouchers from Home Forward are part of the agency's new initiative dedicating 500 rent assistance vouchers over the next several years to projects that provide housing opportunity for low-income families in neighborhoods with good schools and amenities. 

“We are pleased to support an effort that gives more low-income families the ability to live in a great area,” said Michael Buonocore, Home Forward executive director. “In addition, the development will provide at least another 10 apartments for very low-income residents beyond the 80 our vouchers will create. This is the multiplier effect we hoped committing our resources could have.”

The PDC-owned site, known as Riverplace Parcel 3, is nearly 88,000 square feet located on the southwest corner of SW River Parkway and SW Moody Avenue in Portland’s central city RiverPlace neighborhood. It’s also in close proximity to the Oregon Health and Science University campus, where many Veterans access critical services through the Portland VA Medical Center.

Download the full RFP here.