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The City of Portland, Oregon

Planning and Sustainability

Innovation. Collaboration. Practical Solutions.

Phone: 503-823-7700

Curbside Hotline: 503-823-7202

1900 SW 4th Ave, Suite 7100, Portland, OR 97201

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  • Equitable housing strategy ensures affordable choices are available for more people Portland’s SW Corridor presents an opportunity to create lots of housing in all shapes and sizes.

  • Nearly 45 percent of Portland’s land area is zoned for single-family neighborhoods New infill construction can create more homes in these desirable communities.

  • Design overlay zone amendments will streamline design review process New regulations should help create housing in mixed use zones outside the Central City faster.

  • Over the next 20 years, 80 percent of new housing will be in multi-family units Design improvements for new higher density development will make apartments and other housing more livable, safe and healthy.

Housing. It’s a basic human need: Shelter from the elements; respite from work and public life; a place to cook, gather, eat and sleep.

But many Portlanders cannot find a home, especially an affordable one. They may be forced to rent an apartment that is too small, or too far away from work and their community. Maybe they take on several roommates to help with the rent. And if they do find a home they can afford to buy or rent, it likely is far from transit and basic amenities — like grocery stores.

The rising number of people who cannot find a safe, healthy, affordable place to live has become a critical issue for our community.

  • So what can the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability do to address these complex problems?
  • How can the City help to create more housing for our growing population?
  • And how will it ensure that underserved populations aren’t left out of the opportunity to live in a comfortable place to live?  

Here’s an introduction to some BPS projects that encourage or require new development that is more affordable and create more housing choice for all Portlanders. 

Note: If you’re looking for resources to find housing, the Portland Housing Bureau has some useful information.

Housing Opportunity Initiative

The HOI is a “package” of two zoning projects (Residential Infill Project and Better Housing by Design) and a newly formed anti-displacement plan that address the issue of housing access and affordability for Portlanders.

Inclusionary Zoning: Ensuring affordable units are included in new construction of 20 units or more

Effective Feb. 1, 2017, the City of Portland’s Inclusionary Housing (IH) Program went into effect, including new inclusionary zoning requirements. This means that all new residential buildings with 20 or more units must include a certain number of units that are affordable to Portlanders making 80 percent of median family income (MFI). Additional rules create incentives for developers to build units for people making 60 percent of MFI.

Better Housing by Design: Changing the rules to improve apartment development and allow other types of housing in multi-dwelling zones

Residential zones outside the Central City, where two or more units are allowed, are called multi-dwelling zones. In these neighborhoods you’ll see everything from apartment buildings and fourplexes to courtyard apartments and duplexes.

SW Corridor Equitable Housing Strategy: Ensuring the benefits of a multi-billion-dollar light rail investment are available to everybody

Over the next 25 years, the SW corridor, located on and near Barbur Boulevard, will experience a lot of the region’s development growth.

Residential Infill Project: Right-sizing new homes and increasing housing options that blend into single-family neighborhoods

The Residential Infill Project (RIP) is exploring ways to allow more housing units in single-family neighborhoods.

The Design Overlay Zone Amendment project (DOZA): Revising the d-overlay and improving the design review process so more units can go online faster

Even though it feels like new buildings are rapidly sprouting up all over Portland, the supply of new housing is still not keeping up with demand. Designers, builders, architects and the community have expressed concerns about how long the design review process takes and how restrictive it is.

Manufactured Dwelling Park Project: Protecting the roughly 3,000 manufactured homes in Portland’s 56 manufactured dwelling park

This project creates a new zone for manufactured dwelling parks and creates consistent development standards to ensure this important source of housing for Portland’s most vulnerable populations remains intact.