City News

Posted on: October 25, 2017

2017 Housing Report to be Reviewed and Discussed During October 26 Housing Committee Meeting

housing report cover

A priority of the Council’s Housing Committee this year was to create a current situation report on housing policy, availability, and affordability. In response, the City’s Housing and Community Development division recently completed the 2017 Housing Report, which will be presented to the Housing Committee at its Thursday, October 26 meeting at 5:30 PM in Room 24 of City Hall. The Committee will spend the majority of the meeting reviewing and discussing the report followed by a discussion on its 2017 and 2018 work plan.

The report gives an overview of the current housing market and showcases the many policies and initiatives the City has adopted and is utilizing to address the issues of housing availability and affordability. Examples of some of the outcomes described in the report are:

  • Investment in Housing Development: Portland has invested almost $14 million dollars in federal and local resources that leveraged the creation of 24 units of homeownership housing and 927 units of rental housing. 798 of the rental units are affordable to households at or below 60% of the area median income.
  • Inclusionary Zoning: Since the adoption of Inclusionary Zoning, eleven qualifying projects have been approved by the Planning Board as of October, 2017.  From those eleven projects, 14 units of workforce housing units are proposed.  Five projects chose to pay the fee in-lieu into the City’s Housing Trust Fund for a total of $1,266,250.
  • R-6A:  Approximately 150 units of new senior housing have been permitted or built in the R-6A zone.
  • India Street Form Based Code: Approximately 100 units of new housing has been created since rezoning India Street.
  • Reduced Fees for Developing Affordable Housing:  5 development projects creating a total of 129 very-low and low-income housing units were permitted with reduced development fees.  

In addition to identifying the outcomes of various policies and initiatives, the report offers a new ‘tool box’ of things the Council may want to try. The report concludes there is no one silver bullet to solve Portland’s housing issues; the city needs to take a long term comprehensive approach to affordable housing.

“I want to thank City staff for their hard work in creating this report so that we can have a comprehensive look at the things we have been doing, what’s been working, and what new things we may want to try,” said Councilor Jill Duson, Chair of the Housing Committee. “I encourage citizens to attend the upcoming meeting, and I look forward to discussing the report with staff and my colleagues.”

The report is broken into four sections:  

  • a compilation of data on current conditions and topics that interact with Portland’s housing market;
  • an overview of current City initiatives and tools utilized to address the unique challenges of a growing city and its specific housing needs;
  • a review of available funding sources (local and federal), which the City leverages to achieve its community-based and housing related goals;
  • a potential set of policy proposals for committee discussion. These proposals were taken, in part, from the “bucket list” of ideas created through the public process undertaken by the Housing Committee in 2016.

Housing Committee
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