Last spring the State Legislature adopted SB 1533, which enabled local governments to require affordable housing units be included in new multi-family developments. Under the direction of Commissioner Dan Saltzman, the Portland Housing Bureau is undertaking a process to develop an Inclusionary Housing program that is expected to be adopted by the Portland City Council in December. The new program mandates the provision of affordable housing units in new multi-dwelling residential development through policies and regulations.
In September, Commissioner Saltzman released his program recommendations, which would require any building with 20 or more housing units to set aside up to 20 percent of the new units as affordable for households earning 80 percent of the area median income (AMI), currently about $58,650 for a family of four. As a part of the program, developments may be eligible for density bonuses, fee waivers, and/or tax abatements. As an alternative, developers will be able to provide affordable units off-site, but nearby, or pay a fee into an affordable housing fund.
These recommendations come as the result of a process that began with an independent analysis commissioned by the Housing Bureau to assess the economic feasibility of an inclusionary housing program in Portland. Commissioner Saltzman then invited individuals with housing expertise to serve as a panel of experts to provide input and guidance on the program development in a series of monthly public meetings.
“This proposal addresses the consequences Portland’s unprecedented growth has had on housing affordability” stated Commissioner Saltzman. “Inclusionary Housing can help ensure that Portland has economic diversity in all areas of our City so that Portlanders who work here can afford to live here.”
The public is invited to testify on the Inclusionary Housing Zoning Code Project Proposed Draft to the Planning and Sustainability Commission (PSC), which will hold a public hearing on the proposal on Tuesday, October 25, 2016.
Following the PSC’s hearing on October 25, 2016, the Commission will hold a work session on November 8, 2016, and vote on a recommendation for City Council to consider in December 2016 with an effective date of February 1, 2017.