Emergency Ordinance

*Provide emergency housing services by extending the duration of a housing emergency and continuing the current housing emergency (amend Code Section 15.04.040)


The City of Portland ordains:

Section 1. The Council finds:

  1. On October 7, 2015, the Council, through Ordinance 187371, declared a housing emergency for a period of one year. 
  2. On September 7, 2016, the Council, through Ordinance 187973 extended the housing emergency declared in 2015 for one year. 
  3. On October 4, 2017, the Council, through Ordinance 188627 extended the housing emergency for an eighteen-month duration. 
  4. On February 12, 2019, the Council, through Ordinance 189387 further extended the housing emergency for a twenty-four-month duration.
  5. On March 31, 2021, the Council, through Ordinance 190342 extended the housing emergency for a twelve-month duration.
  6. Since the initial declaration, the City continues to take significant measures to alleviate the emergency housing needs of people experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness or displacement. Some of the measures are based on directives set forth in the previous ordinances while others are part of larger local/regional/statewide efforts to add to the supply of affordable units and to enhance local tenant protection policies. 
  7. Since the State of Emergency went into effect the Portland Housing Bureau has created a pipeline of over 7,735 units of affordable housing that will house over 14,600 Portlanders. One-third of these units are deeply affordable, 23% are as a result of the City’s Inclusionary Housing program, and 3,473 units are already in operation.  
  8. Pursuant to Ordinance 187973, the City’s mandatory Inclusionary Housing program was developed and went into effect February 1, 2017. Since Portland’s Inclusionary Housing program has been in effect, the City has permitted, or is in the process to permit over 1,600  affordable Inclusionary Housing units throughout the City. 
  9. During the present state of emergency under PCC 15.040.040, the Council has had the ability to provide temporary housing and temporary permits for shelter and related services for those experiencing homelessness.  Continuation of the state of emergency would allow the City to continue this work. 
  10. Portland’s total population is 652,503 people making it the 25th most populous city in the nation and the 6th largest city on the west coast. From 2010-2020, the City grew by 10.5%, adding just over 68,727 residents. The steady pace of population growth means continuing demand for housing supply that can meet the housing needs of existing and new households without cost burdening them. 
  11. According to national economists, Portland is in the top 25 best performing large metropolitan areas in the nation for growth in real median household income and growth in educational attainment, in addition to other measures of economic success. In spite of this, the prosperity is not shared by all segments of the population. 
  12. Profound income disparities continue to exist despite recent income gains for all types of households. While the citywide Median Household Income (MHI) is at $71,891 in 2019, the MHI for renter households at $47,240 is 34% less than the citywide measure. 
  13. In 2015, the overall rent growth in Portland was an average of 8 to 9 percent – one of the highest in the nation. In 2021, Portland’s rent growth increased 6% from $1,467 a month to $1,556 a month. Portland’s rent growth is projected to continue into 2025.
  14. Households are extremely cost-burdened if they pay 50% or more of their income on housing costs and cost-burdened if they pay 30% or more of their income on housing costs. Cost-burdened households are at increased risk of housing instability, with homelessness as the worst manifestation. 
  15. The population experiencing homelessness are amongst the most vulnerable residents of Portland. The 2019 Point-in-Time (PIT) count recorded that 2,037 individuals were unsheltered on the night of the count while 1,459 people were in area emergency shelters and 519 were in transitional housing. While the PIT count does not assess causes for homelessness, there is recognition that lack of affordable housing is a leading factor. 
  16. In August 2019, Portland State University’s Homelessness Research & Action Collaborative estimated that in 2017 38,000 people experienced homelessness or lived doubled up in Multnomah, Clackamas, and Washington Counties and up to 107,000 households were experiencing housing insecurity or were at risk of homelessness. 
  17. The persistence of people experiencing unsheltered homelessness, the reliance of about 1,500 people in our emergency shelters and the severe shortage of affordable housing are circumstances that create an immediate need to provide adequate, safe, and habitable shelter to persons experiencing homelessness.  
  18. Experiencing homelessness or being on the brink of it causes tremendous human suffering and demands a spectrum of emergency responses that includes adequate, safe and habitable shelters, affordable housing units, and appropriate supportive services. Since 2015, the Council has in effect recognized and responded to the ongoing affordable housing crisis in an emergency mode. 
  19. During this period of emergency, the Council has funded a wide range of other programs like the Impact Reduction Program, Navigation Team, the Park Ranger Program, Neighborhood Response Teams, Portland Street Response, Safe Rest Villages, the Street Services Coordination Center, etc. to mitigate impacts of homelessness, improve community livability and to address issues of public health and safety. 
  20. Alongside directives from emergency ordinances several other noteworthy efforts are underway to address Portland’s affordable housing crisis and to strengthen protections for renters most vulnerable to displacement and/or homelessness. 
  21. Responding to an urgent community need, in October 2017, the Council and the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners adopted parallel resolutions stating the goal to create 2,000 new supportive housing units by the year 2028. Since this Goal was set the Portland Housing Bureau and the Joint Office for Homeless Services has over 1,671 units planned with more than 507 new Supportive Housing units opened, and 456 opening in 2022.
  22. In November 2016, Portland voters approved measure No. 26-179, authorizing $258.4 million in general obligation bonds to fund at least 1,300 units of newly affordable housing over five to seven years. To date, the bond measure has helped add 1,859 affordable units that are now complete or in progress, including 399 units of Permanent Supportive Housing. 
  23. In May 2020, Portland Metro voters approved measure 26-210 authorizing an a combined income tax and business tax designed to raise $248 million per year to fund supportive housing services in Washington, Clackamas, and Multnomah counties. 
  24. The N/NE Neighborhood Housing Strategy is a City initiative to address the legacy of displacement in North and Northeast Portland through investments to create new affordable housing opportunities for first-time homebuyers, and home retention programs for longtime residents of the area. Since the adoption of the Strategy 501 rental units have opened, 94 new home owners have been created, and 1,002 low income homeowners have received critical home repairs.   
  25. Ordinance 189387 directed Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) to develop a legislative proposal to amend City Code to allow for the permanent siting of day storage units, temporary housing, shelters, alternative shelter siting, and Type llx process option for certain defined affordable housing projects.  
  26. On April 28, 2021, City Council adopted the Shelter to Housing Continuum package, which enacted permanent zoning code amendments to address the growing crisis of houseless Portlanders. Since passage, several technical issues have arisen that would slow or prevent the development of outdoor shelter projects. In order to ensure the expansion of shelter capacity as rapidly as possible, there is still a need for the City of Portland to extend the Housing State of Emergency. 
  27. Housing continues to become more unaffordable in the Portland Metro region, and projections indicate that this trend is going to continue for at least three years.
  28. The economic drivers of houselessness have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic over the past two years, and it will take the City and County years to establish and run emergency shelter programs to mitigate the crisis.
  29. The State of Emergency Declarations by Council have allowed for the siting of day storage units and expedited design review process for affordable housing. These operational improvements have provided significant efficiencies and improvements to be able to address expedited affordable housing development, and to provide service locations to people experiencing homelessness.  
  30. Before the State of Housing and Emergency terminates, these system improvements should be put into operation as the normal course of business of the City.    

NOW, THEREFORE, the Council directs:

  1. Amend Title 15.04.040 of the Portland City Code, as shown in Exhibit A. 
  2. There continues to be a state of emergency presented by the sufferings of people experiencing homeless or housing instability through Portland, requiring further extension of the housing emergency initially declared by Ordinance 187371 and subsequently extended through Ordinances 187973, 188627, 189387 and 190342 under Portland City Code (PCC) Title 15 for the entire city.  The provisions of PCC 15.04.040.B limiting the duration of the extension of a housing emergency are waived and the housing emergency declared by 187371 is hereby further extended through March 22, 2025. 
  3. For the duration of the housing emergency, the City may otherwise exercise such authority as is provided in PCC 15.08.020.
  4. If any provision of the Declaration of Emergency, or any Emergency Orders, directives, commands, or other orders issued under the authority of the Declaration, or their application to any person or circumstance is held to be invalid, then the remainder of the duly exercised authority, including the application of such part or provision to other persons or circumstances, shall not be affected and shall continue in full force and effect. To this end, the provisions of the Declaration of Emergency, or any Emergency Orders, directives, commands, or other order issued under the authority of the Declaration, are severable.

Section 2.  The Council declares that an emergency exists because the city is experiencing a housing crisis and, for humanitarian reasons, immediate action is necessary; therefore, this ordinance shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage by the Council.

An ordinance when passed by the Council shall be signed by the Auditor. It shall be carefully filed and preserved in the custody of the Auditor (City Charter Chapter 2 Article 1 Section 2-122)

Passed by Council

Auditor of the City of Portland
Mary Hull Caballero

Impact Statement

Budget Office Financial Impact Analysis

This legislation seeks to extend the 2015 Housing State of Emergency to March 22, 2025. There are no fiscal impacts.

Agenda Items

228 Regular Agenda in March 30, 2022 Council Agenda


  • Commissioner Carmen Rubio Yea
  • Commissioner Dan Ryan Yea
  • Former Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty Yea
  • Commissioner Mingus Mapps Yea
  • Mayor Ted Wheeler Yea

Requested Agenda Type


Date and Time Information

Requested Council Date
Time Requested
20 minutes
Changes City Code