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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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Compliance Requirements

Eligible multiple-unit housing must be completed on or before January 1, 2022.

Changes to projects – If, after a project is approved for the MULTE, and prior to construction being completed, the project owner needs to make changes to the application submitted which are minor and would result in substantially the same project, PHB may allow slight variances to what was approved without a formal restructure request. Changes must be submitted to PHB using the MULTE Approved Project Change Request form. PHB will evaluate the change(s) to determine whether or not the project and the affordability will still be substantially the same if the changes are accepted. PHB will consider restructure requests as long as the project still meets the program requirements. The project owner must submit a formal restructure request to PHB including a new application form, current financial information, and an updated narrative reflecting the reasons for the changes to the project. Restructures will be reviewed by staff, presented to PHB’s Investment Committee, and go to City Council for approval.

Should any changes be approved, it may be necessary for an Amendment Agreement to be signed and recorded to amend any provisions outlined in the MULTE extended use agreement.

MWESB – To comply with MWESB contracting requirements, the contractor must complete and submit the GFE Program Bidder Checklist and report on bidding results through the City of Portland’s Procurement Services Compliance Specialist.

Rental projects

  • Extended Use Agreement – The owner of a rental project approved for exemption will be required to sign an extended use agreement (EUA) to be recorded on the title to the property.
  • Lease-up approval – The applicant must complete the Asset Management Contact List with lease-up contact information. The PHB Asset Management Department will be in contact with the owner and/or property manager prior to completion of construction to ensure proper screening and qualification of tenants prior to lease up.  The owner must notify the PHB Asset Management Department if the property manager information submitted with the application changes.
  • Tenant screening – Gross income from all sources must be considered for any adults living in the unit. To qualify, tenants should be allowed to spend more than 30% of their gross income on housing expenses. Any applicants not meeting the screening criteria must be given the right to appeal.
  • Tenants must income qualify at lease-up, but may exceed the affordability requirement by up to 20% during the exemption period (i.e. tenants who qualify for 60% of MFI restricted units at lease-up may earn up to 80% of MFI while living in the unit, or tenants who qualify for 80% of MFI restricted units at lease-up may earn up to 100% of MFI while living in the unit).
  • If a tenant exceeds the income requirement, plus the additional 20% allowed, then the unit is no longer considered qualified as an affordable unit. Another unit in the project may replace the affordable unit, should it otherwise meet all program criteria.
  • Upon termination or expiration of the tax exemption or in the case that a tenant no longer income qualifies for an affordable unit, the property manager must give at least 240 days written notice to PHB and at least 180 days written notice to the tenant before a tenant must begin paying market rate rent or need to vacate the unit, assuming the tenant has met all other terms of the rental agreement.
  • Annual reporting and review – During the exemption period, the owner must upload tenant income and rental data through Web Compliance Management System (WCMS) – to validate subsequent rental and household income compliance – annually to PHB’s Asset Management Department within 60 days from the end of the project’s fiscal year.
  • If PHB determines that the number and unit mix of affordable units is less than the approved percentage or does not match the unit mix of the project, the next available units must be rented to households meeting the income requirements and the project must be brought into compliance before the next reporting period.
  • Upon sale or other transfer of the project during the exemption period, the provisions of the MULTE program can transfer with the property. PHB needs to receive an updated Asset Management Contact Form, and information about the new entity in order to prepare a Consent to Transfer and Assignment and Assumption Agreement to be executed and recorded on title.

For-sale Units Compliance

  • Notice – Upon approval, PHB will record a notice on title to the property requiring PHB verification of homebuyer affordability and owner-occupancy qualification prior to the sale of the property to the initial homebuyer.
        • Homebuyer verification: The initial homebuyer must submit a Compliance Verification Form and supporting documentation at least 10 business days prior to closing on the home purchase and must not close without PHB review and response. The verification form must be signed by all homebuyers; income documentation should be submitted for all homebuyers who will both be on title to the property and living in the home.
          • PHB review prior to closing: PHB will notify homebuyer and escrow of homebuyer qualification (affordability and owner-occupancy) prior to closing.
        • Sales over the price cap : Escrow must notify PHB if a property is selling over the established price cap. If the exemption is already in effect, it will be terminated and escrow must request the amount of any taxes exempted due from Multnomah County to be paid at closing by the seller.
      • Construction completion: The property must be fully constructed upon sale (documented by final permit or certificate of occupancy and usually verifiable by PHB through Portland Maps). 
      • Verification of closing: Homebuyers must send PHB documentation of the final sale price and title holders within 30 days of closing by submitting a copy of the recorded Warranty Deed or the Final HUD-1 Settlement Statement.
  • Subsequent homebuyers: If a property with a tax exemption transfers title during the ten year exemption period, the exemption will continue as long as the property remains owner occupied.
  • Owner occupancy: For-sale units may not be rented at any time (both prior to initial sale and after homebuyer approval). After initial sale, the property must be owner occupied (or listed for sale and vacant) during the exemption period.  Properties which are rented are subject to termination of the exemption.

Termination of Active Exemptions

If the property no longer qualifies for the tax exemption prior to the exemption expiring, the exemption will be terminated.

If a rental project has not met the affordability requirements approved, the non-compliance must be cured by the next reporting year, or the project will be considered non-compliant. In the case of ceasing to provide affordability (and electing to “opt out” of the program), effectively non-compliance:

  • The exemption will be terminated without right of notice or appeal (no show cause hearing);
  • Property will be assessed full taxes as of the next tax year following the non-compliance; and
  • A penalty equal to the amount of the tax exemption for the most recent tax year multiplied by the percentage of affordable units, multiplied by the years remaining in the tax exemption will be due and payable to the Portland Housing Bureau.