April 20, 2016 – The Portland Housing Bureau (PHB) has awarded approximately $47 million in local and federal funds to eight proposed affordable housing projects. The six new developments and two renovation projects come as a result of the Bureau’s 2015 Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA), released last October, which made an unprecedented $61.6 million, 100 Project-Based Section 8 vouchers, and five publicly owned sites available for affordable housing proposals.
PHB estimates the award will result in 585 new units of affordable housing—and will preserve another 255 through renovation projects—including more than 120 total units for the lowest-income households (those earning up to 30% of the Median Family Income, currently $15,400 a year for an individual and $24,300 for a family of four).
“Taken together, these eight projects respond to the urgency of the housing emergency for the most vulnerable Portlanders, and integrate the kinds of services and programs that will bring greater security and long-term solutions to those most in need,” said Commissioner Dan Saltzman, who oversees the Portland Housing Bureau. “I commend the Housing Bureau for stretching itself and its resources to get here, and I commend our proposers for the creativity and resourcefulness they brought to meet the challenges we face.”
Citing the city’s housing emergency, Commissioner Saltzman directed PHB last fall to deploy all of its available resources, including urban renewal dollars budgeted for future years. The 2015 NOFA also featured unprecedented coordination among local public agencies, with land and other resources contributed by Multnomah County, the Portland Development Commission, and Home Forward.
“The affordable housing crisis is being felt all over Portland and Multnomah County. People are hurting and they need help," said Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury. "These projects will help us provide stable housing for some of our most vulnerable residents. We are committed to making sure people have a safe place to call home.”
Beyond financing considerations, the eight projects were selected according to their alignment with several current housing initiatives, including the N/NE Neighborhood Housing Strategy and the A Home for Everyone plan to end homelessness, as well as how they proposed to serve priority populations such as homeless families with children. Additionally, the three developments planned for North and Northeast Portland, which are expected to bring nearly 200 new affordable units to the area, will prioritize longtime and displaced residents of the N/NE Portland community for housing through the City’s new preference policy, unveiled earlier this month.
Click here to read the full announcement.