Amid Rising Rents Portland Looks To Tax Exemptions To Spur More Affordable Housing

Dated: September 29 2015

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With rents rising, home prices soaring and residents being squeezed out, affordability has become a key concern in the Portland housing scene.

To try and encourage more affordable housing development, the Portland City Council and the Multnomah County Commission approved changes to a tax exemption program last week.

The changes came to the city’s Multiple-Unit Limited Tax Exemption Program, which provides a 10-year property tax exemption on housing units in new projects that reserve 20 percent of those units for low- to moderate-income residents.

According to the Portland Housing Bureau, the tweaks increased the annual cap from $1 million to $3 million, eliminated the competitive process to better align with construction and financing timelines, expanded the geographic areas where it can be used and clarified compliance requirements to create greater predictability for investors.

“It’s going to take a variety of tools and partnerships to ensure we have enough housing throughout the city that Portlanders can afford,” said Portland City Commissioner Dan Saltzman in a release.

“Expanding this program was an important and immediate step to improve on the tools we have to increase affordable housing production in the private market.”

The housing bureau, which is now accepting applications for the exemptions, expects to add between 200 and 300 new affordable housing units per year through increased participation in the program.


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Mark Ross

For Mark Ross, founder of Ross NW Real Estate and professional real estate broker, real estate has always been the career of choice. During his 30 years in the industry, Mark has gained experience in ....

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