Affordable Housing Q&A

What is "Affordable Housing"?


The basic standard is that people should not pay more than 30% of their income for housing (unless they choose to and it does not interfere with their ability to buy food, pay for heat, etc).

Is there a shortage of it?


There is a critical shortage of housing affordable to those who need it throughout the Portland metropolitan area. The current housing crisis is estimated to be affecting close to 40% of the population in our region.

What happened?


Housing prices have risen, on average, over 60% since 1990 while incomes have not. Low- and moderate-income families are being priced out of the market. Workers are commuting greater and greater distances in order to secure housing.

Who lives in affordable housing?


The 45% of the population with jobs in service and retail fields, as well as those on fixed incomes who are challenged to find units they can afford.

Why does it matter?


Housing is more than just shelter... it provides access to opportunity. Safe, decent, affordable housing provides an opportunity for people to stabilize their income and create a home for their families. Stable housing can improve school performance, work and social behavior, and allow a family to invest in its health, neighborhood and future.