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Planning and Sustainability Commission to host Housing Policy Forum

News Article
The June 22, 2021 PSC meeting includes a 2-hour session with housing experts to discuss housing-related policy and housing production in Portland.

Is Portland building the housing we need?

This practitioner panel, convened by the Planning and Sustainability Commission (PSC), will share their extensive collective experience to:

  • Identity factors contributing to Portland’s recent significant slowdown in new permits;
  • Assess the types and locations of housing being built - and those which are not;
  • Identify which obstacles to housing production that are within Portland’s control and which are not; and
  • Brainstorm actions Portland could take to stimulate the production of market rate housing, to go hand-in-hand with regulated affordable housing, so there will be plenty for all who choose to live here.


Issuance of permits for new housing in Portland has dwindled significantly at a time when there is already an undersupply for housing and we are seeing high rates of cost-burdening and homelessness. This trend suggests that we may be at risk of repeating what happened in the early 2010s, when housing production fell well behind demand, resulting in dramatic increases in rents, evictions and homelessness.

Thanks to new policies and funding programs, today Portland has many more tools for regulated affordable housing than it did in 2010.  It’s encouraging to see production of affordable housing accelerating.

But these new tools, collectively, are insufficient to address the growing gap between the city’s supply and demand for housing. Programs focused on people earning less than 60% MFI must go hand-in-hand with abundant market rate housing, which has always represented the lion share of local housing production.


  • Dr. Michael Wilkerson, Partner and Senior Economist, ECONorthwest
  • Sarah Zahn, Director of Development, Urban Development Partners
  • Jessica Woodruff, Director of Development, Community Development Partners
  • Sam Rodriguez, Senior Managing Director, Mill Creek Residential

Agenda for the full June 22, 2021 PSC meeting

Watch online