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Land Use process changes to City Subsidy Affordable Housing Projects

City of Portland, Bureau of Development Services

March 11, 2016


On March 9, 2016 City Council approved Ordinance # 187616 to authorize design review and historic resource review of certain affordable housing projects in the Central City and the Gateway Plan Districts through a Type IIx procedure, rather than a Type III procedure. The land use fees will be those of a Type II procedure. This Ordinance is voluntary, one in which the applicant of qualifying projects can choose a Type IIx or Type III procedure. This Ordinance will be effective immediately. 

Development that complies with the following requirements are allowed to take advantage of the provisions in the Ordinance: the development is a City Subsidy Project*, the land use application includes a letter from the Portland Housing Bureau certifying a City Subsidy Project, and before the land use application submittal the applicant must participate in at least one Design Advice Request.  

This authorization addresses the urgent need to create and preserve affordable rental housing as expeditiously as possible in the short-term. As a result, qualifying development proposals will take priority over other non-qualifying development proposals with regard to staff time, hearing dates, etc. This Ordinance will expire on October 6, 2017.    

* A City Subsidy Project is defined as:  

  • (a)​ As used in this ordinance, the term “City Subsidy Project” means a privately owned property with 20% or more units receiving a City Subsidy after the effective date of Title 30.01 through one or more programs designed to create or preserve rental housing affordable at or below sixty (60) percent of Median Family Income (MFI).

  • (b)​ As used in this ordinance, the term “City Subsidy” means locally controlled public funds administered by the Portland Development Commission, Portland Housing Bureau, or other City bureau or agency, allocated for the purpose of creating or preserving affordable rental housing to households below sixty (60) percent of MFI. City subsidies may be provided to developers through direct financial assistance such as low interest or deferred loans, grants, equity gap investments, credit enhancements or loan guarantees, or other mechanisms.

Contact Information
Bureau of Development Services Kara Fioravanti, 503-823-5892, and Portland Housing Bureau Bobbie Daniels, 503-823-3277,