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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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Eligibility & Compliance

Eligible Developments

To be eligible for the SDC Exemption Program, the applicant must have site control and the proposed development must meet the following affordability requirements (per Title 30.01 – Affordable Housing Preservation, Chapter 30.01.095):

Rental Projects

  • Developments must serve households earning at or below 60% of the Median Family Income (MFI) adjusted for household size with a maximum debt burden of 30% for a 60-year period.
  • If a proposed rental housing development has units which do not meet the above requirements or includes a commercial component, the actual exemptions will be prorated as applicable to the residential portion of the development subject to the affordable housing restrictions.

Homeownership Projects

  • Developments must serve households at or below 100% of the Median Family Income (MFI) for a family of four (currently $69,400 and adjusted annually; adjusted upward for households of more than four people)
  • Units must sell for less than the price cap provided by City Code, Section 3.102.090 D (currently $291,000) 
  • Units must sell to homebuyers who will occupy the homes as the initial occupants. Properties receiving homeownership exemptions may not be rented.

Compliance Requirements

The Portland Housing Bureau (PHB) requires the applicant to comply with the terms and conditions outlined in their recorded Regulatory Agreement (view sample Rental or Homeownership Regulatory Agreement). The compliance requirements differ depending on the type of development as follows:

  • Rental Projects: PHB’s Asset Management Department conducts annual audits of each project receiving SDC exemptions. Project Sponsors must be able to document tenant income eligibility and rents upon PHB's request. See PHB’s Asset Management guidelines.
  • Homeownership Projects: In order to prove the property is being sold to an income eligible homebuyer who will occupy the property, PHB must receive a Homeowner Compliance Verification Form along with supporting documentation (see page two of the form) prior to the sale of the property. Income is evaluated based on a homebuyer’s current annualized income.  In the event that the property is being sold to an ineligible homebuyer or over the sale price cap, the developer must repay the exempted SDCs plus interest and fees to the city of Portland SDC Bureaus.

 Process Steps for Homeownership Project Compliance Requirements:

  1. Homebuyer completes and signs the Homeowner Compliance Verification Form and submits it along with supporting income documentation to PHB for review prior to the sale of the property. Generally the escrow officer handling the closing will help facilitate this step.

  2. Escrow officer completes and faxes or emails PHB a SDC Demand Statement Request along with the completed Homeowner Compliance Form and supporting documentation to request a demand statement prior to closing. If it is known that the homebuyer will not meet the requirements, the escrow officer submits only the SDC Demand Statement Request.

  3. PHB reviews the forms and supporting documents within 10 business days and then faxes a demand statement to escrow disclosing whether or not the homebuyer meets the affordability requirements and indicating if any repayments are due.* PHB demand statements are valid for 45 days.

  4. The escrow officer collects and pays the applicable amounts of any repayments due, as well as collects recording fees necessary to record the Release Agreement after closing.

  5. Once PHB receives proof that the SDC Bureaus have been repaid and/or the property has sold to the verified homebuyer for less than $291,000, PHB sends a Release Agreement to escrow to be recorded, and the SDC Exemption Program requirements are released.

*Please note: The amount exempted in the Regulatory Agreement is an estimate only; do not use this figure to calculate repayments. Only a Demand Statement from PHB will list the correct repayment amounts. Any repayments due in the case of non-compliance will be charged a $250 processing fee by each bureau requiring repayments. Repayments will be due based on the rate that was in effect at the time the complete building permit application was submitted, plus interest (currently 6.75%, based on the city’s interim rate).