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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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Calling all faith organizations! Seeking proposals for affordable housing on your surplus property

Faith communities play a role in providing affordable and safe housing for many Portlanders. As part of the City of Portland’s effort to address the housing crisis, the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) is launching a pilot program to explore opportunities for faith communities, such as churches and synagogues, to develop new affordable housing units on their properties. The program will also uncover and address barriers to developing affordable housing on faith-owned property. 

The City is requesting proposals from faith communities to explore development opportunities for affordable housing constructed on their properties. Up to five proposals will be selected for a pilot program under this program. Organizations from the selected proposals will receive one-on-one assistance from architects and development consultants to determine:

  • The types of housing development that can fit on the site.
  • What might be financially feasible.
  • City policies or regulations that would need to be addressed.
  • A roadmap for the faith organization to develop the housing.

Pilot program services could include:

  • Concept development
  • Conceptual building designs
  • Conceptual site plan
  • Financial analysis (development pro forma)
  • Financing options
  • Conceptual project timeline and steps in development process

The pilot program services will be provided free of charge through a grant from Metro regional government and managed by BPS. Selected faith organizations will be required to devote time to work with the design and development teams but do not have to fund the pre-development services. Please note this program is currently only considering proposals for permanent and long-term affordable housing. Proposals for pods and temporary shelters will not be considered.


We are seeking a variety of projects, so we encourage all faith communities that are taking steps toward development of an affordable housing project — whether in the very beginning stages or further along — to apply.

Applications are due by Monday, February 4, 2019.
Complete the online application.

To be considered for the design and development services, please fill out the online application form. All applications will be evaluated against several criteria, including location, land availability, project size, development type, land use zoning, diversity of faith communities, organizational capacity and readiness.

Next steps

Pilot study selection will be made by mid-February. The pre-development studies must be undertaken in Spring 2019.

Questions / contact

To learn more about your property, including zoning, permits, and assessments, go to

Have questions, need help or a hard copy of the application? Contact Project Manager Nan Stark at 503-823-3986 or