THIS APPLICATION ROUND IS NOW CLOSED.
Sign up to be notified about future application rounds by clicking here. Find the answers to many frequently asked questions about the application process below. Don't see your question? Contact us any time for assistance. Email: PHBwaitlist@portlandoregon.gov | Helpline: 503-823-4147
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Preference Policy?
Recognizing that past City actions have marginalized and displaced many longtime residents of North and Northeast Portland, the Portland Housing Bureau (PHB) developed the Affordable Housing Preference Policy as a tool to prioritize impacted households for PHB housing opportunities in the area. The Preference Policy aims to address the ongoing impact of this legacy by giving priority to households with generational ties to N/NE Portland—i.e.: current and former residents of specific areas that were subject to high levels of urban renewal, and their descendants. View maps of these areas online. Note: The Preference Policy determines the order of applicants on waiting lists for housing, not their eligibility for housing programs.
How does it work?
Whenever PHB housing in N/NE Portland becomes available, PHB will advertise an open application round for households to apply to receive preference for those openings. This will apply to rental apartments, ownership homes, and down payment assistance for first-time homebuyers. Top priority will be given to households (and their descendants) who owned property that was taken by Portland City government—during the building of Memorial Coliseum or the expansion of Emanuel Hospital, for example. These are “priority status” households.
All other applicants can receive “preference points” based on current or historic residency. Up to three points are possible based on whether your current or former address falls within one of the areas where past City plans had a destabilizing effect on long-term residents; up to three more points are possible based on the current or former address of your parent/guardian or grandparent, for a maximum total of six points possible. (Click here to view maps of the eligible areas and their point values).
PHB will sort the applicants in order of their preference points from highest to lowest, with priority status households at the top of the list, followed by six-point households, then five-point households, and so on. All applicants will be notified of their waitlist status by mail.
Who is eligible?
PHB housing programs serve low- and moderate-income households. Households up to 80% of the Median Family Income are income-eligible for PHB homeownership programs ($41,200 for an individual or $58,800 or less for a family of four in 2015). UPDATE: A limited number of program openings will be available to Households up to 100% of the Median Family Income. View income guidelines to find out if you are income-eligible. Through partners, PHB offers several types of homeownership opportunities for first-time homebuyers (anyone who has not owned a home within the last three years), including down payment assistance, conventional homeownership, and shared equity housing models. Different types of programs have different qualifying criteria, such as credit score, income, and household size. Click here to find out more.
How do I apply?
PHB will be accepting applications between May 2, 2016 and May 13, 2016. Beginning April 18, applications will be available online and at designated application sites. Apply online, in person at a designated application site, or call the helpline to request a paper application in the mail. You can find a list of application sites as well as a paper application for download here beginning April 18. Printed applications can be dropped off at an application site or mailed to the PO Box address below (mailed applications must be postmarked by 11:59 pm on the May 13 application deadline). Note: application sites will only accept applications during their standard business hours on the application deadline date. Limit one application per household.
N/NE Preference Waitlist
PO Box 28289
Portland, OR 97228
What if I have more than one former address in N/NE Portland and/or more than one for my parent/guardian/grandparent?
You can use a maximum of two addresses for preference points. Each address will qualify for 0-3 points, for a maximum total of 6 points possible. If you or your parent/guardian/grandparent have more than one former address in N/NE Portland, or if you have more than one parent/guardian/grandparent with an eligible address, select one to list for yourself and one to list for a parent/guardian/grandparent. You may choose which addresses to list on your application if you have more than two eligible addresses to choose from. If you currently live in the same house as a parent or guardian, of if you currently occupy a home previously occupied by a parent or guardian, you may list the same address twice.
I have a disability preventing me from completing the application, what can I do?
Reasonable accommodation request forms are available by clicking here and at partner sites for individuals experiencing a disability. Submit your request electronically to PHBwaitlist@portlandoregon.gov, or by mail to: N/NE Preference Waitlist/PHB 421 SW 6th Ave, Suite 500 Portland, OR 97204. Staff at PHB or at designated application sites can also accept accommodation requests given verbally, over the phone, and can assist you in completing the form. The request must be submitted prior to the application deadline. We are unable to process requests received after the application deadline. If you are having trouble finding or accessing a request form, call the PHB helpline for assistance.
Can I get more time to fill out my application?
You must submit your application between May 2, 2016 and May 13, 2016 to be considered for this round. If you need assistance with your application in order to meet the deadline, contact the PHB helpline, or visit the PHB website for a list of community partners who can help you. Application rounds for future opportunities will be advertised on the PHB website (sign up for the email list to be notified directly about future application rounds by clicking here).
How do I know you have received my application?
If you submit an application at an application site, you will be given a confirmation receipt with the date, reference number, and the initials of the staff person who received your application. If you are mailing in your application, PHB will mail you a confirmation letter with your reference number. If you apply online, the online application will generate a reference number for you when you submit. Beginning in June, you will be able to search the database on the PHB website by your reference number to ensure your application appears in the system.
I’m trying to check my application status. What does it mean if I can’t find my reference number in the online database?
If your reference number isn’t in our system, we did not receive your application. If you feel this is a mistake, please send us a scanned or photocopied version of your confirmation receipt (with your reference number), along with a completed Application Update Form, so we can enter your information. We cannot assist you if you do not have your confirmation receipt.
My application status says “Active” (or “Inactive”). What does that mean?
In each application round, we will have a certain number of openings to fill. Once the application period closes and applicants have been sorted in order of preference points, a predetermined number of applicants from the top of the list will be put on the “Active” waitlist for those openings (because not all applicants will complete the process to qualify for the housing programs offered, the number of applicants on the Active waitlist will be greater than the number of openings available). Everyone else will be placed on an “Inactive” waitlist, meaning: they may still be considered for this round, but only if there are openings remaining after the Active waitlist has been exhausted. Applicants on the Inactive waitlist will be notified by mail of their status in the current round every three months until all the advertised openings have been filled. Anyone who does not receive housing during an application round can still be considered for future opportunities, but must reapply.
How do I update information/correct mistakes on my application if I’ve already submitted it?
You can update or change your information at any time by filling out the Application Update Form available online (call or email to request to have one sent to you).
How do I show that I/my family was displaced from N/NE Portland?
Once you are notified that you are on the Active waitlist for housing, you will be given a predetermined amount of time to submit documents verifying the address information you provided on your application, but you don’t need them when you apply. Documents like utility bills, pay stubs, vehicle registrations, military ID cards, and lease agreements can be submitted as verification. Again, you will only need these if you are selected for the waiting list. More detailed instructions will be provided in the notification letters. A list of valid documents is available here.
If I get the maximum number of preference points, do I automatically qualify for housing?
No. Having Priority household status or qualifying for all six preference points does not guarantee housing. Applicants must still meet the eligibility criteria for the particular housing being advertised. Factors such as your household income, credit score, and debt may be considered in determining whether you qualify.
If I am selected for the waiting list but I don’t qualify for the housing offered, what happens to me then?
If you do not qualify for the opportunity offered in this application round and are still interested in homeownership opportunities, we recommend you work with a partnering agency to advance your homeownership readiness. For more information on the partnering agencies and their services, please visit www.portlandoregon.gov/PHB. You may also complete an Application Update Form to be considered for other housing opportunities in the future, which may include both homeownership and rental options.
If I am not selected in this round, will my application be automatically considered for other housing opportunities in the future?
No. To be considered for future PHB housing opportunities in N/NE, you will need to complete an Application Update Form and indicate that you would like to be in the applicant pool for the upcoming round. Update forms for each application round will be available on the PHB website 14 days prior to the open application period.
Do I need to be a U.S. citizen to apply?
Both U.S. citizens and eligible noncitizens can apply. Generally, you are an eligible noncitizen if you are one of the following:
• U.S. permanent resident, with a Permanent Resident Card (formerly known as an Alien Registration Receipt Card or “Green Card”) • Conditional permanent resident (I-551C) • Other eligible noncitizen with an Arrival-Departure Record (I-94) from the Department of Homeland Security showing any one of the following designations: “Refugee,” “Asylum Granted,” “Indefinite Parole,” “Humanitarian Parole,” or “Cuban-Haitian Entrant” • A citizen of the Republic of Palau (PW)
How do I determine my household size? Who is considered a member of my household?
Household size is a factor in determining income-eligibility for housing programs. In this case, household size refers to the number of individuals permanently residing together in the housing unit. To determine your household size, count everyone permanently residing in your home, including yourself.