Last year, the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability began working with community-based organizations who want to use their surplus land to provide affordable housing for those in need. With a grant from Metro, BPS began to identify opportunities for affordable housing on land owned by faith communities.
The grant includes funding for design and financial consultants to work with three organizations. Thirteen applicant organizations with a vision to develop affordable housing on their properties submitted proposals. Although all the applicants are worthy of the financial and technical assistance, the selection committee could only choose three:
- Bethel AME Community Development Corporation
- Muslim Community Center of Portland
- Trinity Lutheran Church
The three organizations that were selected best met the selection criteria, which included:
- Diversity of communities served
- Organizational structure and capacity
- Vulnerability score for location (where residents were most at risk of displacement)
- Opportunity score (proximity and access to public services)
- Suitability as a case study
- Diversity of location
Over the next few months, the recipients will meet with staff of the design and finance firms, Carleton-Hart Architects and the Nielson Group, to develop preliminary concepts based on their individual vision for the project.
The bureau’s project manager, Nan Stark, will work with the organizations and consultants to create a guide for other organizations who want to pursue developing affordable housing on their land.
As the grant work progresses, BPS will also be proposing changes to the Zoning Code that may help to reduce barriers to development of affordable housing. With these multiple approaches, the Bureau and its community partners hope to create more pathways to the development of affordable housing for individuals and families.