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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 of Portland Releases Unprecedented Funding Amount for Affordable Housing

The Portland Housing Bureau has partnered with Multnomah County, the Portland Development Commission, and Home Forward to make $61.6 million available for affordable housing

The Portland Housing Bureau (PHB) announced today that it has $61.6 million in local and federal funds for affordable housing project proposals – the largest Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) to date. This investment of public funds is expected to generate another $150 - $200 million in economic activity and produce at least 600 new affordable housing units.

The annual NOFA process is the primary means through which PHB solicits and funds affordable housing projects. This year’s NOFA includes five sites owned by the Housing Bureau, Multnomah County, and the Portland Development Commission (PDC). In addition to the sizeable amount of funds, the NOFA also draws from a broad diversity of sources, including City and County General Fund, Tax Increment Financing from six of the city’s urban renewal areas, and federal HOME and Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds, as well as 100 Project-Based Section 8 vouchers from Home Forward.

“Solving our housing crisis is going to take this kind of cooperative approach from our local agencies,” said Commissioner Dan Saltzman, who oversees the Housing Bureau. “We are in a critical moment as a city and I’m glad that we’ve been able to mobilize our collective resources to have the greatest impact possible.”

The notice outlines the City’s priorities for the funding, which include:

  •  $7.5 million for affordable housing development to support the priorities of the A Home for Everyone homelessness initiative.
  •  $10 million, plus at least 40 Project-Based Section 8 vouchers, to develop one City-owned property and one County-owned property in North/Northeast Portland, in accordance with the priorities of the N/NE Neighborhood Housing Strategy to mitigate displacement in the area.
  • $5 million for development in the Lents area, plus a PDC-owned site.

Recognizing the city’s housing emergency, Commissioner Saltzman directed the Housing Bureau to deploy all of its available resources, which included pulling forward Tax Increment Finance dollars budgeted for future years.

“The people of Portland can’t afford to wait,” Saltzman said. “Our city’s housing crisis demands thoughtful, immediate action.”

Interested proposers will need to attend a mandatory information session on November 12 and a mandatory contractor networking session will be held on December 3. Proposals will be due in January with award announcements expected to follow by March.

For details on the information sessions and for more information, click here to download the full NOFA

New Pearl District Development Will House Homeless Families

More than 30 families facing homelessness will soon have a place to call home in the Pearl District. The Portland Housing Bureau (PHB) announced today it has selected a proposal by nonprofit developer Innovative Housing Inc. to develop new deeply affordable housing on City-owned property at NW 14th Avenue and Raleigh Street. 

“Our city’s housing crisis has left too many Portland families on the brink,” said Commissioner Dan Saltzman, who oversees the Portland Housing Bureau. “We are excited to partner with Innovative Housing on this project to give dozens of these families the opportunity to put down roots in one of our great neighborhoods, and bring their children up near the things that make life better for families—a pre-school, a grocery store, a city park, and good access to jobs.” 

PHB issued a Request for Proposals in May for the vacant property, which the City of Portland acquired earlier in the spring. The selected proposal seeks to provide at least 30 family-size units dedicated to serving the lowest income households—those at or below 30% of the Median Family Income (currently $24,250 for a family of four), plus additional one-bedroom units below 60% of the median (up to $35,280 for a two-person household). The opportunities for added density on the site may yield even more housing as development moves forward. 

Ground-floor common areas will also offer residents a community room, indoor and outdoor play areas, a laundry facility, and on-site resident support services. 

“When families are displaced by a rent increase or a medical crisis, it’s children who suffer,” said Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury. “This project will give kids safe, stable homes where they can thrive.”

As part of the A Home for Everyone collaborative, the City of Portland and Multnomah County have identified families with children as a priority population in the local effort to end homelessness. A recent count of homelessness in Portland and Multnomah County published in June showed a 24% increase in unsheltered families with children since 2013. Families with children also make up a disproportionate percentage of the estimated 12,000 people who are “doubled up” in housing or living in motel rooms on any given night.

“This project will help protect our most vulnerable Portlanders — low-income families — as we grapple with affordability problems, rising rents, and the heart-wrenching effects of homelessness,” Mayor Charlie Hales said. “We need long-term solutions like this affordable housing development to continue to move the needle on affordability, livability, and equity.”

The site was acquired at a discount from Hoyt Street Properties (HSP) this spring as part of a longstanding affordable housing agreement between HSP and the City of Portland. The project will further affordable housing goals set forth for the River District Urban Renewal Area. Construction is projected to begin in 2017. 


Housing Bureau Director Kurt Creager Moderates City Club Forum: Portland's Housing Crisis Part 1: Is Portland Facing a "Renter State of Emergency?"

This summer, Portland renters saw a surge in no-cause evictions and dramatically increased rents. The impacts can be devastating physically, mentally and socially, with lost access to affordable housing, transportation, community, neighborhood schools and basic family stability. More and more, people are asking: Is affordable housing still attainable in Portland? What policy changes or creative solutions are needed to keep Portland affordable?

Meet Kurt Creager, the City of Portland's new Director of Housing; and hear from Martha McLennan, Executive Director of NW Housing Alternatives, Israel Bayer, Executive Director of Street Roots and Eli Spevak, Founder of Orange Splott. This is the first of two City Club Friday Forums focused on the housing crisis in Portland. Join us again October 9th as we discuss In-Fill vs Historic Preservation.

Click here for more information.

Fair Housing Community Meeting: Evidence of Barriers to Housing Choice

Join the Fair Housing Advocacy Committee to review the latest evidence of housing disparities in our community and be part of the process to shape our community's Fair Housing assessment.


Fair Housing Assessment Meeting: Evidence of Barriers to Housing Choice

This is the second of three community meetings to shape and inform our community's Fair Housing Assessment. In this meeting, we will review evidence of disparities in housing access and barriers to housing choice in Portland, Gresham, and throughout Multnomah County.

Wednesday, September 30

4:00 − 7:00pm

16126 SE Stark St
Portland, OR 97233

 Please click here to RSVP if you plan to attend.
For childcare, language services, or accessibility requests, or for more information, contact Kim McCarty at 503-823-5312.

Additional upcoming meetings:

  • 10/13/2015 Fair Housing Assessment Meeting # 3
  • 10/14/2015 Portland and Multnomah County Community Need Meeting
  • 10/21/2015 Gresham and East Multnomah County Community Need Meeting

All dates, times, and locations will be published on the Portland Housing Bureau's website. Check here for updates.

Equal Access and Non-Discrimination Policy: For ADA Title II or Civil Rights Title VI Accommodations, Translation/Interpretation Services, Complaints, or for additional information call 503-823-5312, TTY: 503-823-6868, or use Oregon Relay Service: 711.

Please note: The City of Portland is a fragrance-free workplace. Help us make all public spaces places where everyone can breathe, and please avoid using scented products when visiting City offices or public meetings.

City Releases Final Report on State of Housing Market and Affordability

The final 2015 report provides market updates and a new, more detailed look at the City's own policies, programs, and funding for affordable housing.

The Portland Housing Bureau released the final State of Housing in Portland 2015 Report today, the follow-up to a preliminary report on the city’s housing market published earlier this spring. 

The report provides a real-time look at Portland’s housing market by geography, housing type, and the relative affordability to Portlanders based on their income, household composition, race, and ethnicity. This final report updates those figures where new data has become available and closely examines the City’s own policies, programs, and funding for affordable housing.

A detailed look at the Housing Bureau’s production shows more than 1,100 new units of affordable housing currently in development, including more than 170 targeted toward extremely low-income households (those earning up to $22,050 for a family of four.)

New additions to the report also examine the City’s progress toward affordable housing policy goals established in various City plans dating back to 1980. 

“This gives us a clear picture of where we have been successful as a City in meeting and exceeding our affordable housing goals, and where we still have more work to do,” said Housing Commissioner Dan Saltzman, who commissioned the report last year. “We now have a roadmap of where we need renewed focus to maximize the impact of our resources – and where we will need new tools and resources to achieve our goals.”

In the urban renewal areas, the City is meeting or exceeding affordable housing set-aside funding levels across the board, but overall success in production and program implementation varied by district and, frequently, by the resources available there.

The analysis also shows successes in the Central City, particularly on the west side, where regulated rental unit production remains high in an area of the city with a high concentration of extremely low-income households, and where programs are serving a diversity of Portlanders.

Report findings also show the overall picture in the market continues to be dire:

  • Rents across the city increased since this time last year by more than $100 per month, on average.
  • Housing cost and income disparities continue to limit housing opportunity for the average Black, Native American, and Alaska Native Portland household in every neighborhood in Portland, and are increasingly impacting Latino households and households headed by single mothers as well.
  • Inflation-adjusted incomes have remained relatively flat, and Portlanders have generally not seen increases in household income to counterbalance increased housing costs.

“There is no more pressing issue facing our city right now than affordable housing. We must work to ensure that Portland’s families can afford to live and succeed here. We’ve been given a clear path forward and I’m committed to action,” Saltzman said.

The report will be presented to Portland City Council at 2pm on Wednesday, September 30th.

Click here to download the full report.