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The City of Portland, Oregon

Homelessness Toolkit

City of Portland

Goal: Permanent Housing

The City’s end goal regarding homelessness is to provide housing for everybody in Portland. There is a spectrum of different types of housing that is needed  —  transitional housing for those reentering society, permanent supportive housing for those who require ongoing care, and permanent, subsidized housing. The City and its partners are working to provide enough of each kind of housing, with an emphasis on affordable permanent housing.

Affordable housing is defined by the City as housing in which the targeted tenant population (those households up to 60% of area median family income) pays no more than 30% of their gross household income for rent and utilities. 

Over the last several decades, the City has set forth many ambitious policy goals to address homelessness and housing affordability across the city. Within urban renewal areas, the City is generally meeting or exceeding set-aside levels for affordable housing production, but overall success varies by district and, frequently, by the resources available there. To read more about specific housing data by neighborhood, please visit the most recent State of Housing report.

The City, largely through the work of the Portland Housing Bureau and its Commissioner in Charge, has launched several new initiatives recently, including:

Tenant Protections

  • New regulations requiring landlords to provide tenants with 90-day notices for no-cause evictions
  • New regulations requiring landlords to provide tenants with 90-day notices for potential rent increases 5% or greater over a 12-month period

 A Fall 2015 Notice of Funding Available for Affordable Housing

  • The Portland Housing Bureau announced the largest Notice of Funding Available (NOFA) in its history- $61.6 million in local and federal funds for affordable housing development.
  • This investment is expected to generate roughly $150 million in economic activity and produce over 600 new affordable housing units

Tax Increment Funding Set-Aside Increase

  • Tax Increment Funding (TIF) is a funding mechanism used for urban renewal areas that allows for reinvestment of property taxes into the neighborhoods it comes from. 
  • In October 2015 City Council increased the minimum percentage of TIF that must go to building affordable housing in urban renewal areas from 30% to 45%, resulting in an additional $66.7 million for the construction of affordable housing.

North/Northeast Neighborhood Housing Strategy

  • Aimed at targeting the negative impacts of displacement and gentrification, City Council and PDC committed $20 million to fund the community-led effort to prioritize public investments in affordable housing, home repair and retention, land banking and down payment assistance. 

Linkage of Short Term Rental Taxes to Affordable Housing

  • In December 2015 City Council approved a resolution linking the City’s income from lodging taxes generated by short term rental companies like Airbnb to the City’s Housing Investment Fund.
  • This will generate approximately $1.2 million annually for affordable housing construction.