City Releases $70+ Million in Bond Funds for Affordable Housing Projects
The Portland Housing Bureau (PHB) has announced a $77 million funding opportunity for new construction projects, property acquisitions, and the rehabilitation of existing buildings for affordable housing — including $70 million from Portland’s Housing Bond. The Bond Opportunity Solicitation (BOS) marks the first time private and non-profit developers will be able to submit proposals for Bond funding following a constitutional amendment passed last November giving municipalities greater flexibility in the use of general obligation bond funds, including the ability to lend bond funds to private entities, and the ability to leverage outside funding sources in Bond projects.
“We’re acting swiftly on this new opportunity from voters to leverage our public-private partnerships and outside sources of funding to make our bond dollars go further,” said Mayor Ted Wheeler. “With the help of our community partners, we expect to meet and exceed the goals of Portland’s Housing Bond.”
In addition to capital funding for construction, the solicitation includes two development sites owned by PHB, and one PHB building for rehabilitation. In total, the solicitation is expected to produce up to 600 affordable housing units.
At least one-third of units produced through the BOS will serve very-low income households, below 30% of Area Median Income (less than $22,000 a year for a family of three). In addition, projects will be expected to provide a minimum number of Supportive Housing units — including two buildings entirely dedicated to Supportive Housing. The Supportive Housing units will be supported by a rent subsidy through Home Forward, who is offering 188 Project-Based Section 8 vouchers to ensure long-term rental assistance and support.
Additionally, up to $10,000 per unit will be available annually in funding for Supportive Housing services through the Joint Office of Homeless Services.
“Portland’s Housing Bond creates housing for Portlanders who aren’t served in the current market — from chronically homeless individuals who need housing with wrap-around services to families with children who need safe, stable and affordable homes,” said Portland Housing Bureau Director Shannon Callahan. “With this opportunity, we can work together with our community partners to create safe, high-quality homes for Portlanders struggling to afford a place to live.”
Six projects have been identified under Portland’s Housing Bond to date, totaling more than 660 units either open or in progress throughout the city.
Proposals are due by June 28 with awards expected in September 2019. A mandatory developer information session for interested proposers will be held on Wednesday, May 15, 2019 from 3:00 – 5:00 pm at New Song Community Church. For more information or to download the solicitation, visit www.portlandoregon.gov/phb/BOS2019