Commissioner Ryan's priorities as Portland's Housing Commissioner are responding to the housing and COVID-19 crises by stabilizing renters and preventing displacement, facilitating safe and sustainable affordable housing development, and creating new pathways to first-time homeownership in our City. Commissioner Ryan believes that housing is a human right and that the pathway from streets to stability is a continuum—we need to meet people where they are, from Safe Rest Villages to Permanent Supportive Housing to homeownership.
PHB achieved one of its highest housing production years in 2022.
Increasing housing stock for the future
The Portland Housing Bureau (PHB) is advancing a vision of the City where all Portlanders can find safe, stable affordable housing, and have equitable access to home ownership.
Converging market forces create the “perfect storm” of challenges for Portland renters—including the expiration of COVID safe harbor protections, spiking eviction rates, rising interest and inflation, and a 14.6% rent cap increase looming in 2023—all while state and local eviction prevention resources are close to depletion.
Despite these challenges and the lingering effects of the pandemic, PHB continues to deliver new affordable housing for Portlanders—fully allocating all Portland Housing Bond funds in 2022 along with continued implementation of the Metro Regional Affordable Housing Bond—achieving one of the City’s highest production years to date.
In addition to City-funded housing, the Inclusionary Housing program contributes hundreds of units from the private market to increase supply and add much-needed housing stock to the affordable housing pipeline.
Recent Bureau accomplishments for 2022 include:
Opened 852 new affordable homes while simultaneously creating housing for more than 1,800 Portlanders.
Portland’s Housing Bond: Exceeded all goals set for the ballot measure with a total of 15 projects and 1,859 units of affordable housing open or in progress. 539 Bond-funded units opened in 2022, creating new housing for 1,200+ Portlanders.
Metro Housing Bond: There are currently 14 projects funded, with 1,320 units open or in development.
Opened 240 new units of Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH), totaling 1,914 PSH units now open or in progress—only 86 units remain in reaching the goal of 2,000 new PSH units by 2028.
Prevented immediate displacement of Portlanders by negotiating with the owners of the Kelly Butte Place manufactured home park and the Prescott Apartments who both agreed to take actions to prevent physical or economic displacement of the existing residents.
Successfully advocated for $5.45 million for land banking funds to support affordable homeownership opportunities and another $5.17 million for the preservation of affordable housing.
Successfully lobbied for $15 million in rent assistance funding from Multnomah County.
Secured $2 million congressional appropriation for redevelopment of Fairfield Apartments, which preserves critical housing for very low-income Portlanders experiencing or are at risk of homelessness.
Received unanimous City Council approval to establish the Cully TIF District dedicated to housing stabilization and anti-displacement for businesses and Portlanders.
Filled a variety of vacancies on the Portland Housing Advisory Commission and the Rental Services Commission, bringing greater racial and experiential diversity to public advisory bodies.
Successfully made code changes to the Portland City Code renter protections chapter.
Learn more about Commissioner Ryan's work with the Portland Housing Bureau:
- Together with Multnomah County and nearly 40 community-based organizations, PHB has distributed $1 million in rent assistance every week throughout the pandemic, supporting more than 13,000 families with critical lifelines to housing.
- PHB created a publicly available dashboard that tracks our work and implemented immediate rent assistance through our partnership with 2-1-1. View PHB Data Window. View COVID-19 Emergency Rent Assistance Dashboard.
- PHB opened more than 1,150 new affordable homes since Commissioner Ryan took office, housing 1,945 Portlanders.
- The City has and continues to increase density through changes in land use and zoning that allow for additional density and unit production in areas throughout the city—this facilitates additional market-rate and affordable housing. Commissioner Ryan is looking at investing in affordable housing to take advantage of new policies like the Residential Infill Project and Better Housing by Design that allow for greater density.
- Many of the projects funded pair local non-profit organizations with private developers. For example, three of our most recent City-funded developments paired non-profits like Self Enhancement Inc., Albina Vision Trust, IRCO, and Catholic Charities with private developers like Community Development Partners, Edlen & Co., and Related NW to bring on new deeply affordable housing.
- Commissioner Ryan led the effort to fund the Inclusionary Housing Calibration study, worked across all Council offices to determine the scope of work for the study, and will hire an independent outside expert to guide that work.