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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 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.


Portland Voters Pass First Affordable Housing Bond

Measure 26-179 is largest General Obligation Bond ever passed by Portland voters.

Portland voters made history yesterday by passing Measure 26-179, the  city's first ever affordable housing bond. The $258 million bond passed with 62% of the vote, and will allow the city to build and preserve an additional 1,300 units of affordable housing. It is the largest General Obligation Bond ever passed by Portland voters.  

Portland Housing Commissioner Dan Saltzman praised the result, saying “Portlanders have stepped up in this time of need to be part of the solution to our city’s housing crisis. I am extremely grateful to Portland voters for the compassion they have shown their neighbors and their community by supporting this bond.” 

The housing bond will raise property taxes 42 cents per $1,000 of assessed value. The funds will be administered by the Portland Housing Bureau with a focus on building and preserving deeply affordable housing for households between 30-60% of the area median income (currently $22,000 to $43,080 for a family of four). 

Opening of 30-Day Public Comment Period on Proposed Amendment to Consolidated Plan

The proposed amendment concerns the amount and use of HOME funds directed to short term rental assistance.



November 2, 2016

Amendment No. 2016-17 (01)


On November 2, 2016, the City of Portland proposes to amend its Consolidated Plan FY 2016 as follows:

The City intends to transfer the use of $947,800 of HOME funds originally designated for affordable housing development in the Consolidated Plan FY2016 to be directed to Home Forward for funding of the Short-Term Rent Assistance
(STRA) Program, contracted through the City/County Joint Office of Homeless Services. Home Forward will provide the administrative, training and monitoring oversight of funds, which will provide tenant based rent assistance (TBRA) to households at or below 60% of area median income who are experiencing homelessness or at risk of becoming homeless. An estimated 207 households will be assisted with the funds.

Using HOME funds for STRA will advance the Consolidated Plan’s stated goals and efforts to reduce and end homelessness, required by §91.220(i)(1). STRA is one of our community’s most effective programs to implement tenant based rent assistance community-based agencies with both federal and local funding.

The purpose of this notice is to provide an opportunity for public comment on this proposed amendment to the cities of Portland and Gresham, and Multnomah County on their Consolidated Plan FY2016-17. 


Copies of the amendment will be available for review on November 2, 2016 through December 2, 2016 online at and at the front desk located at the Portland Housing Bureau, 421 SW 6th Avenue, Suite 500, or by calling Jennifer Chang, Program Coordinator, at 503-823-2391. The location mentioned above is accessible to person with disabilities.

For additional information or to submit written comments, contact the Portland Housing Bureau, Attention: Jennifer Chang, Program Coordinator, 421 SW 6th Avenue, Suite 500, Portland, OR 97204-1629 or send an email to: Written comments should be received at the above address or email by December 2, 2016.  If comments are received, they will be considered.

Jennifer Chang, Program Coordinator
Portland Housing Bureau
421 SW 6th Ave., Suite 500
Portland, OR  97204
503-823-2387 fax
(503) 823-6868 TTY