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The City of Portland, Oregon

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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Old Town/Chinatown Pilot Program

The Old Town/Chinatown Pilot Program provides an exemption from System Development Charges (“SDCs”) for new buildings with eligible middle-income rental housing units in Old Town/Chinatown. 

City Council approved the Old Town/Chinatown System Development Charge Exemption Pilot Program (Pilot Program) on August 6, 2014 concurrent with acceptance of the Old Town/Chinatown Action Plan.  

A key component of the Action Plan, strongly supported by the community, is to bring more moderate-income residents to the neighborhood while also maintaining the existing affordable housing. A limited modification to the existing SDC Exemption Program is intended to bridge the current financial gap for the development of middle-income housing in the area and encourage greater income diversity in Old Town/Chinatown.

The Pilot Program will be administered by the Portland Housing Bureau (PHB). Unique to the Pilot Program is the requirement to demonstrate financial need for the project. Project underwriting will to be conducted by the Portland Development Commission (PDC), and needs to occur at such point when the developer has sufficient project information for conducting underwriting and estimating SDCs. An overview of the process is available here.

Contact Dory Van Bockel at or by phone at 503-823-4469