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The City of Portland, Oregon

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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. 

Median Family Income (MFI)

MFI refers to the income level earned by a single household (typically four people) where half of the households in an area earn more and half earn less. The MFI for Portland is $74,700 per year. A household at 80 percent MFI earns $59,750 a year; at 60 percent MFI, it’s $44,820. Many housing programs target households earning less than 60 percent MFI.

Tyler Bump, the BPS economic planner who helped craft the zoning code to implement the new IH program, states, “We’re still talking with designers, developers and real estate professionals to work the new regulations and program requirements into the design/financing for new development in Portland.

“Look for coverage of these efforts  —  as well as a discussion of how Portlanders will know whether their affordability program is working  —  in the months to come.”