Eligibility for Waived Fees: Apply for a Permit and Land Use Fee Waiver

Apply to have building permit and land use fees waived. BDS fee waivers are based on financial hardship and low income. Nonprofit organizations can also apply for building permit and land use fee waivers. Find what to include in your BDS fee waiver request and where to send your fee waiver request.
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Please note: Fee waiver options are changing. Expect updated information soon. Please contact Customer Success before submitting an application for a fee waiver.

The BDS permit fee waiver program supports:

  • customers who qualify for low income or have had financial hardship who need assistance
  • projects that benefit the community 
  • non-profit organizations that serve people who qualify for low income

The Development Services Director reviews each building permit and land use fee waiver. The Director also considers our goals to recover costs from the review and inspection of projects. Everything the Director takes into account when reviewing a building permit and land use fee waiver request is listed below.

Building permit and land use fee waiver review process 

  1. We track all building permit and land use fee waivers during the fiscal year. We review new requests along with Bureau operations, staffing, and revenue status. We rely upon permit fees for our income. 
  2. An applicant for a building permit and land use fee waiver based upon financial hardship or low income must certify gross annual income and household size. We use the annual Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) area Median Family Income tableto determine eligibility. Current eligibility for a permit fee waiver is set at 80% area Median Family Income.

We may suspend our permit and land use fee waivers at any time with approval by the Commissioner-in-Charge and the Development Services Director. 

Apply for a building permit and land use fee waiver 

You can send us an email to apply for a BDS fee waiver. Or, apply by mail: 

Development Services ATTN: Director 

1900 SW Fourth Avenue Suite 5000
Portland, OR 97201

Documents to include with your building permit fee waiver request 

You must clearly demonstrate the need for the BDS permit fee waiver. Include financial and other supporting documentation with the request. Some examples of documents to include with your BDS permit fee waiver request: 

  • current tax forms
  • bank statements
  • IRS 501c3

Your financial information will remain confidential to the extent permitted under Oregon public records law.

Include an estimate of the permit and or land use fees when you apply. Many building projects rely upon the outcome of land use action. Land use fees will be considered first. We'll review any permit fee waiver request upon completion of the land use action.

The Director determines if applicants meet eligibility requirements for permit and land use fee waivers. We'll notify you by email or mail. The notice explains if your request was approved in part, in full or denied, and includes the reason for the decision.

Questions about building permit and land use fee waivers 

Please email us with any questions or call our General Inquiries phone number.