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The Portland Housing Bureau (PHB) is now accepting applications for tax exemptions to encourage new affordable housing development. Earlier this month, Portland City Council and the Multnomah County Commission approved changes to the City’s Multiple-Unit Limited Tax Exemption Program (MULTE) to improve access and ease of use for private developers.
The MULTE program provides a ten-year property tax exemption on housing units in new projects that reserve 20% of those units for low- to moderate-income residents. The recent changes to the program increased the annual cap from $1 million to $3 million, eliminated the competitive process to better align with construction and financing timelines, expanded the geographic areas where it can be used, and clarified compliance requirements to create greater predictability for investors.
“It’s going to take a variety of tools and partnerships to ensure we have enough housing throughout the city that Portlanders can afford,” said Portland City Commissioner Dan Saltzman, who oversees the Portland Housing Bureau. “Expanding this program was an important and immediate step to improve on the tools we have to increase affordable housing production in the private market.”
The Housing Bureau expects to add roughly 200 - 300 new affordable housing units per year through increased participation in the program.
“Our community desperately needs more affordable housing,” said Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury. “The important changes we’ve made to expand this program will make it easier for business owners to partner with us in achieving that goal.”
Interested applicants should contact Dory Van Bockel, MULTE Program Coordinator at the Portland Housing Bureau, at 503-823-4469 or firstname.lastname@example.org, to schedule a pre-application meeting.