Portland Mayor Proposes Rule Changes to Increase Housing Affordability

Jul 20, 2017

With an eye toward increasing affordable housing in Portland, Mayor Ethan Strimling has proposed changes to a city zoning ordinance.

One change would double the amount of so-called workforce housing required in housing developments of 10 or more units. Strimling also wants to lower how much people would have to pay to own or rent such units.

Strimling says he wants to make sure middle-income people are able to afford to stay in the city.

“We’re just not getting enough affordable workforce housing put on the market, and hopefully this will be one extra piece that can help,” he says. “We’ve been squeezing out the middle income for a number of years now and this really is a part of the housing market that we’ve got to fill, and we have not.”

Strimling says he feels the current income eligibility requirements are too high to make a significant effect and wants to see them lowered. The new affordability standards would allow families making up to $83,400 a year to own a home, and families making up to $65,700 would be able to afford to rent a workforce housing unit.