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Projecting Portland’s housing needs for the next 20 years

News Article
Draft of Portland’s Housing Needs Analysis released; public invited to review it and testify to the Planning Commission online via the Map App or at a public hearing on September 26 at 5 p.m.

Over the past year, Bureau of Planning and Sustainability staff have been conducting in-depth analyses and engagement about housing needs in Portland.

On September 26 at 5:15 p.m., the Portland Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on the City’s 2045 Housing Needs Analysis (HNA) and Buildable Lands Inventory (BLI) report. These reports include information about housing market conditions, existing population and households, as well as housing forecasts and analyses of the capacity for new households in 2045.

Review the Proposed Draft documents

Why is this important?

The future of housing in Portland is upon us. The need for more housing that is affordable to lower income households ― as well as units that are age-friendly, accessible, and/or adequate for families ― is apparent. The HNA dives into the data and identifies housing that Portlanders will need over the next 20 years. It also suggests that strategies are needed to develop a variety of housing types (family-sized and accessible/visitable units, affordable housing) that are affordable to current and future households.

How is Portland changing?

While population growth has been slowing in the city, Portland is becoming older and increasingly racially and ethnically diverse. The share and number of BIPOC Portlanders, older adults and people with disabilities continue to increase, and those are expected to grow. 

As of 2021, 647,176 Portlanders, or 279,797 households, were living in 296,479 housing units. But over the last decade, population and household growth has slowed across the Metro region; estimates show a decline of nearly 20,000 residents from 2020-2022. Despite these trends, we are still planning for continued population growth in Portland over the long term, albeit more slowly and less dramatically.

How much growth is Portland planning for?

Metro is responsible for providing a regional population forecast, which it distributes across jurisdictions. The most recent 2018 Metro forecast was for 277,221 additional households across the Metro region by 2045, with 97,471 new households allocated to Portland ― about 35% of the entire Metro population growth forecast.

In addition to planning for projected new households, the HNA forecast also considers vacancy rates, second/vacation homes, historic underproduction, and housing for the houseless populations. All of these factors increase the need for ~120,000 new units by 2045.

How much development capacity does Portland have?

The Buildable Lands Inventory (BLI) is an assessment of the development capacity in Portland under current planning and zoning designations. The BLI considers vacant land, redevelopment feasibility, and constraints on development to estimate the future development capacity for all housing and employment uses. 

For housing, the BLI estimates that Portland has the capacity for 236,977 new units. Approximately 90% of this development capacity is in the Central City, mixed-use commercial and multi-dwelling zones.

This aligns with our growth management strategy to grow in our transit-oriented, pedestrian- and bike-friendly centers and corridors.

3D map residential development capacity throughout the city, with very dense capacity in the central city, medium dense capacity south of central city and near I-205, and lower capacity in other areas.
Residential capacity map. Source: BPS analysis, 2023.

Key takeaways

Portland has more than enough zoned development capacity to accommodate projected household growth. The challenge is developing housing for different types of households and household needs.

  • Portland should plan for between 97,471 and 120,560 new housing units by 2045.
  • Portland has zoned capacity for 236,977 new dwelling units to be built.
  • Portland has a surplus of capacity for over 116,417 units.

For more information, visit the project website.

Tell the Planning Commission what you think

Community members are invited to review the HNA and BLI Proposed Drafts and testify in writing or in person to the Planning Commission, which will consider public testimony before they forward their recommendation on to City Council.

The public hearing on Sept. 26, 2023, at 5 p.m. will be a hybrid format, with options to participate either in person or virtually using a computer, mobile device or telephone. You must sign up to testify in advance.

Register to testify on the event page

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the hearing. The deadline to sign up for the hearing is Mon., Sept. 25 at 5 p.m. Individuals have three minutes to testify, unless stated otherwise at the hearing.

Submit written testimony

We strongly encourage electronic written testimony. Written testimony must be received by the end of the hearing on Sept. 26 and must include your name and address.

Use the Map App

Testify in writing via the Map App

Click on "2045 Portland Housing Needs Analysis," then click the "Testify" button. Testifying in the Map App is as easy as sending an email.

U.S. Mail

Portland Planning Commission
2045 Portland Housing Needs Analysis Testimony
1810 SW 5th Ave, Suite 710
Portland, OR 97201

What happens next?

After the public hearing, the Planning Commission will consider all written and oral testimony on this proposal and vote on the proposals in late October. The Planning Commission will then forward their recommendation to City Council for consideration and additional public review and comment. A City Council hearing date is yet to be determined.