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Portland Housing Bureau

Solving the unmet housing needs of the people of Portland.

Phone: 503-823-2375

fax: 503-823-2387

421 SW 6th Avenue, Suite 500, Portland, OR 97204

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Portland Housing Bureau Announces the Release of Two Solicitations

The Portland Housing Bureau (PHB) announces the release of two solicitations:

  • Winter 2017 Affordable Housing Notice of  Funding Availability (NOFA)
  • Winter 2017 Affordable Housing Preservation Request for Interest (RFI)

The NOFA, RFI, and all associated information can be found online at


Winter 2017 Affordable Housing NOFA

The NOFA is making available the following Interstate Corridor Urban Renewal Area (ICURA) resources:

  • $4,000,000 for affordable multifamily rental housing development or acquisition and rehabilitation
  • $9,000,000 for affordable homeownership development
  • PHB-owned site at 5020 N. Interstate Ave.

Of the $9M available for homeownership, up to $5M is available to redevelop the PHB-owned site at 5020 N. Interstate Ave, and whatever amount is awarded must be used for this purpose. The remaining $4M is available for homeownership development elsewhere in the ICURA. A map of the ICURA boundaries can be found here.

A mandatory information session for those considering submitting a proposal for the NOFA ONLY will be held:

Thursday February 2, 2017
Noon – 1:30 PM
Portland Housing Bureau offices
421 SW 6th Ave., Suite 500
Portland, OR 97204

At least one representative from each development team MUST attend. Proposers interested in the RFI only need not attend this information session.

Winter 2017 Affordable Housing Preservation RFI

The RFI requests proposals from owners of projects that already have a PHB loan or regulatory agreement (or both) and have identified more than $100,000 in capital needs. Projects may be located anywhere within the city of Portland.

Questions about the NOFA or RFI may be directed to:

Lois Waugh
Housing Portfolio Finance Coordinator



Portland City Council Unanimously Approves Historic Inclusionary Housing Program

December 21, 2016 -- Portland joined hundreds of municipalities across the country this morning with a unanimous City Council vote to adopt Oregon’s first Inclusionary Housing policy. The program, proposed by Commissioner Dan Saltzman and the Portland Housing Bureau (PHB), will link the production of affordable housing to market-rate housing development by requiring affordable units in new multifamily residential developments.

“Our vote today ensures that economically diverse neighborhoods and housing affordability will be preserved for generations to come,” said Commissioner Dan Saltzman.

State law prevented local municipalities from adopting Inclusionary Housing programs until Senate Bill 1533 passed in the 2016 legislative session, lifting the pre-emption. At the direction of Commissioner Dan Saltzman, PHB worked to develop a program for Portland in the months following the bill’s passage together with a panel of industry experts representing housing, development, and community members to advise on the policy and inform the details of the proposed program.

“We are grateful to the development community and housing advocates for their great effort and commitment in helping the housing bureau and Commissioner Saltzman craft a well-balanced policy that harnesses the creative energies of the housing development industry to ensure that Portland is an equitable and inclusive city,” said Portland Housing Bureau Director Kurt Creager.

The program will require developments with 20 or more units to reserve 20 percent of those units for households at 80 percent of the Area Median Income (or $58,650 for a family of four), with additional incentives for developers to include more deeply affordable units for households at 60 percent AMI (or $43,980 for a family of four).

“Inclusionary Housing is a big and important step that will add another strategy to help provide more affordable housing in Portland. The Inclusionary Housing Program will help create the diverse neighborhoods that Portlanders value, and keep Portland a livable city for all,” said Mayor Charlie Hales.

The Inclusionary Housing policy was approved in a 5-0 vote and will go into effect February 1, 2017.


Additional Inclusionary Housing Program Details:

  • Will provide incentives to offset the cost of providing the affordable units, including Construction Excise Tax (CET) waivers, System Development Charges (SDC) waivers, density bonuses and property tax exemptions.
  • An exemption from minimum parking standards for development projects that are close to transit and provide on-site or off-site affordable dwelling units.

New construction of 20 or more units must provide those units on-site, off-site or pay a fee in lieu of constructing affordable units, which will go into an affordable housing fund.

An “off-site option” allows developers to comply with the inclusionary requirements by either building new units or dedicating existing units at a site that is near the development site.

The program will separate the inclusion rates of the Central City and the rest of Portland into two “inclusion rates” to account for the difference in scale and development costs in each area: 

  • Central City will require projects with 20 or more units to provide 20 percent of units at 80 percent MFI or 10 percent of units at 60 percent MFI.
  • Outside the Central City will phase in a lower inclusion rate, starting at 15 percent of units at 80 percent MFI and 8 percent of units at 60 percent MFI. On January 1, 2019, these rates will increase to match those in the Central City.

Learn more about the details of the program here.

Portland Housing Bureau 2016 Equity Forum 2016

The Portland Housing Bureau held its annual equity forum on December 6, 2016 to present the progress the bureau has made in its racial equity agenda, the latest news on Portland’s housing market from the 2016 State of Housing Report, and to discuss the future PHB funding requirements as well as effective strategies for creating inclusive communities with PHB's contractors and sub-recipients.

Keynote speaker was Dr. Joy DeGruy, a nationally known expert on racial equity, presented on how an organization moves from thoughtful and intentional change to operational, institutional change that results in sustainable racial equity and inclusion. Dr. Joy’s seminars have been lauded as the most dynamic and inspirational currently being presented on the topics of culture, race relations and contemporary social issues.

Forum attendance was required of all recipients of Portland Housing Bureau funds and highly recommended for any organization planning to work with the Bureau in 2016-17. For anyone interested in accessing the presentation materials, the PowerPoint presentation is available here.

You can also see the latest draft of PHB's Racial Equity Plan here (please note, this version is not yet final and is subject to change pending OEHR review).

See the 2016 State of Housing in Portland Report here.

Housing Bureau Proposes First Bond Purchase to Prevent Displacement

Commissioner Saltzman and the Portland Housing Bureau will ask Portland City Council on Wednesday to approve the acquisition of 263 units of privately owned rental housing to prevent displacement and add more affordable housing for low-income families. The proposed purchase of the Ellington Apartments would be the first acquisition using the Affordable Housing Bond approved by voters last month. 

The Ellington Apartments consists of 263 garden-style/townhouse units on nearly 11 acres in Northeast Portland’s Madison South neighborhood. The property was being aggressively marketed toward higher-income clientele.

“Acquiring this property will help us meet two goals of the Affordable Housing Bond –  preventing displacement and providing much-needed deeply affordable housing for Portland families,” stated Commissioner Saltzman who oversees the Portland Housing Bureau. “We are grateful to Portland voters for giving us this essential resource to help stabilize more Portland families.”

Ninety-five percent of the units are sized to accommodate families. “The Ellington has more family-sized housing and larger units than anything currently being offered or developed in the private market,” said Portland Housing Bureau Director Kurt Creager. “The number of two- and three-bedroom units gives us an uncommon opportunity to serve more than 250 families with children in a great location with transit options and nearby parks.”

The Welcome Home Coalition has expressed their support for the proposed purchase. “We are excited to see the City moving so quickly in the midst of the housing crisis and acting now to seize opportunities to preserve affordability,” said Welcome Home Coalition Director Jes Larson. “This is a great first step to take with our Bond resources and we look forward to working with our partners and the public to ensure that the final product is something that we can all be proud of. Our shared commitment to ensuring deep affordability and a community driven development process is something that will make this project, and all future projects, a resounding success.”

The property will be purchased for $47 million, including $37 million in bond funds. The Housing Bureau proposes to provide at least 80 units of housing for extremely low-income families at or below 30 percent of the Area Median Income (currently $22,050 for a family of four).

For more information on the proposed Ellington purchase please see the attached fact sheet.


New Housing Report Shows Continued Declines, Robust City Action

Portland’s housing affordability continued to decline in the last year, marking the fourth consecutive year of a citywide rent increase above 5 percent among other indicators, according to the 2016 State of Housing in Portland Report. The second annual report by the Portland Housing Bureau provides a real-time look at Portland’s housing market by geography, housing type, and relative affordability to Portlanders based on their income, household composition, and race and ethnicity using the latest available data. It also details the City’s own policies, programs, and funding for affordable housing.

The new report shows the average monthly rent in Portland rose 7 percent in the last year, with increases as high as 18 percent in units with more than one bedroom. The city’s average rent has increased nearly 30 percent overall since 2012.

The trends are especially troubling for the average Black, Latino, Native American, and single-mother households in Portland, for whom there are no neighborhoods in the city where they can afford to rent. Senior households also saw the number of affordable neighborhoods fall from four to just one in 2016.

In the real estate market, the report shows a steady rise in home prices which has put homeownership increasingly out of reach for many Portlanders. The median home sales price exceeds $400,000 in more than half the city's neighborhoods and the average Portland household can only afford to purchase a home in eight of the 24 neighborhoods. Meanwhile, no neighborhoods anywhere in the city are currently affordable for the average Black, Latino, or Native American household, senior household, or single-mother household to purchase a home.

“A Portland where people can’t afford to live and work, or realize the dream of homeownership if they are a person of color, a mother trying to provide for her children, a senior citizen, or a low-wage earner working to get by is a Portland we can’t accept,” said Commissioner Dan Saltzman, who oversees the Portland Housing Bureau. “It’s disheartening to see the picture is still bleak for many Portlanders, but I am proud that that we have taken swift action as a City since the last report and are devoting resources and advancing policy to turn the tide on our housing crisis.”

Significant increases in rents and home prices in many East Portland neighborhoods raise serious concerns over economic displacement and housing stability. East Portland neighborhoods saw consistent 10-20 percent increases in home sales prices, as well as some of the city’s largest rent increases.

The report also details the robust  City response to the housing crisis since the first report was published last October, including hundreds of millions in new resources for affordable housing, advances in policies to protect vulnerable renters, and the development of an Inclusionary Housing program, which will go before a City Council vote next week. In addition to the 400 affordable housing units produced by the Portland Housing Bureau over the last year, the report also shows that an unprecedented funding award by the bureau this spring added 840 units to City’s pipeline, which now has more than 1,900 affordable units in production, 20 percent of which are targeted to serve the lowest-income households at or below 30 percent Area Median Income ($22,050 a year for a family of four). 

“We are dedicating more resources than ever to affordable housing," said Portland Housing Bureau Director Kurt Creager. “As a City, we are doing more than just increasing our investment. The Commissioners, together with the bureaus and the community, have expanded the tools we have to be more nimble in a rapidly changing market and have a greater impact in areas and communities like East Portland where we had limited reach before.” 

 Click here to download the report.