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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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A message from Director Kurt Creager about Inclusionary Housing

As Portland continues to expand the programs and resources available to address the affordable housing and homelessness crisis, recent statewide legislation has provided municipalities such as ours with one additional tool to leverage in this effort – mandatory inclusionary zoning. 

Lifting the state preemption on Inclusionary Housing was the Portland City Council's top legislative priority in the 2016 Session. Senate Bill 1533, sponsored by Senator Michael Dembrow, passed the legislature in March with strong bipartisan support. With the adoption of SB 1533, the City of Portland is now able to pursue mandatory inclusionary housing and harness the economic power of the private market to increase the supply of affordable housing for low-income Portlanders. 

Commissioner Saltzman has already given the Housing Bureau direction to begin program development and deliver his office recommendations by September. 

Through Resolution 37187, the City has committed to a community-wide, data-driven discussion as this process moves forward, as well as a panel of housing experts to advise Commissioner Saltzman in the development of an inclusionary housing ordinance.

Inclusionary Housing Program Development - Panel of Housing Experts

Shannon Callahan – Office of Commissioner Saltzman

Matthew Tschabold – Portland Housing Bureau

Sarah Zahn – Portland Housing Advisory Commission, Gerding Edlen

Dike Dame – Portland Housing Advisory Commission, Williams and Dame Development

Dr. Lisa Bates – Portland State University

Dr. Ronald Lehr – KeyBanc Capital Markets Inc.

Amanda Saul – Enterprise Community Partners

Vivian Satterfield – OPAL PDX

Margaret Tallmadge – Coalition of Communities of Color, Portland Planning and Sustainability Commission

Eric Cress – Urban Development + Partners

Greg Goodman – Downtown Development Group, Portland Business Alliance

Kira Cador – Rembold Companies

Nolan Lienhardt – ZGF, 1,000 Friends of Oregon

This panel will hold monthly public meetings beginning on April 26, 2016 from 8:00am to 10:00am in the Portland Building Auditorium at 1120 SW 5th Ave.

The Housing Bureau is committed to administering a program development process that is transparent and data-driven, with opportunities for input from stakeholders and interested parties. If you would like to stay informed of future meetings and opportunities to engage in the program development process, please sign up for our email list by clicking here.

If you have other questions, or are in need of additional information, please feel free to contact Matthew Tschabold, the Housing Bureau Equity and Policy Manager at, or visit the Housing Bureau website here.


Kurt Creager, Director
Portland Housing Bureau

Portland Housing Bureau honored with Daily Journal of Commerce Award

PHB is named one of the journal's Newsmakers of 2016

picture of housing bureau staff membersA continuous barrage of headlines has driven home one very obvious fact about the downside of living in Portland: There is not nearly enough affordable housing for people who are working hard just to pay for the basics in life, and it has created a state of emergency in the Rose City.

The Portland Housing Bureau is working to change that by allocating increased funding for affordable housing projects with the goals of preventing displacement, creating opportunities for people seeking to rent and own homes, and acquiring land.

Kurt Creager took over as the bureau’s director in August 2015 and says he is optimistic about the changes that have occurred so far and the promising future ahead for affordable housing in Portland.

“I’ve been extremely pleased by the amount of political consensus around affordable housing, so most of the last six months we’ve been finalizing financial commitments from the decision makers,” he said.

With a $20 million addition to its budget, the Portland Housing Bureau developed and adopted the North/Northeast Neighborhood Housing Strategy to address displacement and gentrification in those communities. The bureau then issued a record-setting notice of funding available to area developers, designating $61.6 million that is expected to benefit more than a dozen affordable housing projects.

PHB staff accepting awardAmong them is an 81-unit complex called Grant Warehouse that is planned for Northeast Portland. The $8 million project is designed by Carleton Hart Architecture, and the development team is Portland Community Reinvestment Initiatives Inc. and Gerding Edlen. Colas Construction will build the project this year.

Creager noted that affordable housing projects are also slated for sites near the Oregon Convention Center, the South Park Blocks, and the Gateway and Lents neighborhoods, among others. He expects the development to generate $185 million worth of economic investment.

Creager said that while efforts to create a statewide housing program during the most recent legislative session added to the complexity of increasing affordable housing in Portland, a balanced approach to housing across the state is essential. 

“Even though we have a particularly acute problem in Portland, we are sympathetic to other jurisdictions like Bend and Hood River, and we want to work in collaboration to address their housing issues as well,” he said. “I’m learning the Oregon way of doing business. We engage and involve more partners than other parts of the country.” 

Click here to read more. Click here for photos from the awards luncheon at the Sentinel Hotel.

This Friday: Learn About Opportunities for Builders and Developers

This Friday, the Portland Housing Bureau and the Bureau of Development Services will co-host a lunchtime presentation on programs available through the City for builders and developers.

The City of Portland offers several programs to make it easy and beneficial for developers to include affordable housing and other public benefits in new developments.

Join us on Friday, February 19 for a free lunchtime presentation to learn more about how these programs can work for you.

Event flyer

New City of Portland Partnership Will Support Land Acquisition for Affordable Housing

(February 5, 2016) – A new partnership between the City of Portland and the Network for Oregon Affordable Housing (NOAH) is giving the City and its partners greater flexibility to respond to the affordable housing crisis.

The Portland Housing Bureau (PHB) announced today that it has invested $1 million in the Oregon Housing Acquisition Fund (OHAF), a revolving fund administered by NOAH, a statewide nonprofit corporation that provides financing and technical assistance for affordable housing development. This fund, which is available immediately, allows for developers and PHB partners to move quickly to acquire land for affordable housing development when opportunities become available.

In an escalating market such as Portland’s, acquiring parcels for future affordable housing development is a proactive strategy to secure land before market forces drive up the purchase price. Land banking has garnered widespread community support and was identified by PHB as a key anti-displacement measure last year in its N/NE Neighborhood Housing Strategy.

“We needed a new tool – a flexible source of funding to allow our community affordable housing partners to act nimbly in this dynamic market to acquire new sites for affordable housing development,” stated Commissioner Dan Saltzman. The City’s new investment to enhance OHAF leverages public and private resources for land banking, making funding accessible to nonprofit and for-profit borrowers, for both rental and homeownership development projects citywide.

OHAF provides short-term financing in the form a four-year loan for the purchase of land or market-rate projects with the intention of developing or repurposing them for affordable housing. The fund includes capital from trust organizations, as well as Oregon Housing and Community Services, and private banks. The City’s additional investment allows for flexible loan terms with minimal equity, bringing the down payment required from 20% down to 5%. It also lowers the interest rate from 5% to 2%.

“Innovative public/private partnerships are key to a comprehensive approach to our city’s housing needs,” said Portland Housing Bureau Director Kurt Creager. “This is a smart investment that allows us as a community to respond where there is need and opportunity now — and it supports a strategy that is going to continue to be effective in a down market as well.”