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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

More Contact Info


Who is eligible?

Charitable, nonprofit organizations that provide housing to low-income persons are eligible. The organization must be certified by the Internal Revenue Service as 501 (c)(3) or (4) (ORS 307.180). This program defines low-income as 60% of Area Median Income.

Organizations must own or have a leasehold interest in the property or participate in a partnership as long as the non-profit organization is responsible for the day-to-day management of the property.The site must be occupied or ready to occupy during the upcoming tax year by income eligible households. Vacant land intended to be developed as low-income housing is also eligible for the exemption provided under this program, but applicants must indicate a plan for use of that property in the application.

Applicants who are leaseholders must have a signed leasehold agreement by the April 1 application deadline. Applicants may also apply for the exemption for properties expected to be acquired by July 1 of the tax year, but the application form must be submitted by the April 1 deadline.

Note: You may already be exempted from taxation under the statutory provision for qualifying benevolent, charitable and scientific institutions or for nonprofit organizations providing housing and care for the elderly. These two programs are administered by Multnomah County. If you believe you may qualify for these two programs, please do not complete this application. Questions concerning these exemptions should be directed to the Multnomah County Division of Assessment and Taxation at 503-988-3326.

What property is eligible?

Only the residential portion of a property located within the City of Portland which is used to house very low-income people (see table below) or space that is used directly in providing housing for its low-income residents is eligible for a property tax exemption. For example, the commercial space in a mixed-use building would not be eligible for tax exemption; however, an on-site manager’s unit, and community and laundry rooms would be.

The application for tax exemption is for property that is or will be owned or leased from July 1 through June 30 of the year for which the tax exemption is requested. If the property changes ownership anytime for which tax exemption is requested, please notify the Portland Housing Bureau of the change in the status immediately so continuing eligibility of the property can be evaluated.

Note: Housing units which are unoccupied at the time of application may be included in the total eligible units if the application meets the following conditions:

  • The units will be available exclusively to eligible, very low-income persons.
  • The units are intended to be occupied within the year.
  • The application must be filled out giving information to the best of your ability regarding how the applicant plans to provide housing to eligible tenants.
  • Vacant land must be held for future development of affordable housing for the very low-income, and must include a development plan in the application.

Income Eligibility

The following income eligibility table is to be used in determining eligible properties. Only units intended for occupancy by households with incomes at or below these guidelines, as well as space used directly in providing housing for its low-income residents (hallways, restrooms, community rooms, laundry facilities, on-site manager units, etc.) are eligible for exemption.

These are income eligibility figures for 2013, which are also posted here.

2013 60% MFI Table

Household Size


1 person $29,160
2 persons $33,360
3 persons $37,500
4 persons $41,640
5 persons $45,000
6 persons $48,360
7 persons $51,660
8 persons $55,020