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Cities of Portland and Tigard planning for more housing choice and opportunity for all along potential light rail line through the SW Corridor

News Article
Planners requesting proposals from community-based organizations to help create an Equitable Housing Strategy

Most people know the SW Corridor as Barbur Boulevard or 99W. No matter what you call it, though, it’s got potential for improved pedestrian safety and transit service. In addition to better sidewalks and public transportation, the area is a prime location for more types of businesses and houses for the region’s growing and diversifying population.

As the region plans for a light rail line from Downtown Portland to Bridgeport Village, the cities of Portland and Tigard, along with Metro, are developing an Equitable Housing Strategy for this major transportation corridor. The strategy will help ensure that homes along the new transit line meet the needs of households of different sizes and incomes.

City of Portland receives Metro grant for equitable housing strategy

On March 1, 2017, the Portland City Council passed an ordinance accepting $100,000 from Metro to create a SW Corridor Equitable Housing Strategy over the next year. Metro also received an $895,000 grant from the Federal Transportation Administration to develop a complementary equitable development strategy, which will include plans for economic, education and workforce development needs along the corridor.  

This planning work will focus on achieving Portland and Metro's racial and social equity goals, including reducing displacement of low-income households of color, creating equitable housing choices throughout the city, and increasing education and economic opportunities for those households along the corridor.

To that end, Metro, Portland and Tigard have convened an Equity and Housing Advisory Group of housing experts from the finance, philanthropic, nonprofit and private development sectors. The group will be begin meeting on May 24 and continue to meet throughout the planning process. 

Funding available for community-based organizations

The City wants the housing strategy to be informed by the needs and priorities of low-income households and communities of color. To support inclusive community engagement, we are seeking proposals from community-based organizations engaging and organizing low-income households and communities of color around affordable housing issues in the corridor. Find more information and instructions in the RFP.

Grants to nonprofit partners will be awarded at the end of the month to fund targeted engagement activities throughout the summer and fall. Broader community engagement events will be held over the summer and fall as research on the corridor’s housing needs is completed and the community-based organizations conduct more focused engagement.

Project deliverables

At the end of a year-long process, a unified and strategic approach to housing for the corridor will be presented to the cities of Portland and Tigard for action, including:

  1. Housing targets to guide action and track progress.
  2. Proposals for financing sources, development tools and supportive land use policies to meet the corridor’s housing targets.
  3. Recommendations for supporting community and housing organizations to work together to champion and implement the housing strategy.
  4. Prioritized early opportunity sites for housing.