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Public Investments in Housing Solutions

Regional Investments in Affordable Housing

The Welcome Home Coalition championed two voter-backed housing bonds that are producing more equitable housing options across our region. The 2016 City of Portland Housing Bond and the 2018 Metro Housing Bond are on track to produce 6,500 new units of subsidized affordable housing. As of 2023, both of these public investments are on track to create 1,300 more units than initially promised to voters at an average cost of just $10 a month to homeowners. To learn more about how local tax dollars are harnessed to create a healthy community see our Affordable Housing 101 brochure.

As many as 19,000 people will access affordable housing thanks to two voter-backed affordable housing bonds.

Our region pairs affordable units with supportive services.

The Portland Metro Region pairs affordable units with supportive services such as case management, addiction and recovery support, mental health services, and additional rent assistance. These services are funded largely by the Supportive Housing Services (SHS) Measure passed by voters in 2020. Funding from the SHS Tax Measure and the Affordable Housing Bonds work together to ensure people exiting homelessness are adequately supported in their transition into permanent housing. Learn more about how the SHS measure is leveraged to fund homeless services here.

Together, the Portland and Metro Housing Bonds will create 6,500+ units of affordable housing.

6,500+

New Affordable Units

Our region has successfully leveraged public investments to build new affordable housing options for as many as 19,000 individuals. Affordable housing developments use government subsidies to allow for lower rents.

4,000+

Homes Completed or in Progress

As of the summer of 2023, there are 4,000 new subsidized affordable housing units open or under construction. With 18 new buildings currently housing residents.

2,600+

Family Sized Units

Both the Portland Housing Bond and the Metro Housing Bond set family unit goals to ensure that new units allow families to access more equitable housing options. As of 2023, both bonds are on track to create more family units than initially promised to voters.

2,400+

Deeply Affordable Units

Area Median Income (AMI), is used as criteria for eligibility for affordable housing. Deeply affordable units are limited to incomes at or below 30% AMI. In 2023, 30% of the area median income in the Portland area is $23,700 for a household of one.

1,000+

Units of Supportive Housing

PSH or Permanent Supportive Housing is designed specifically for households exiting chronic homelessness. PSH housing offers additional support for tenants offering onsite services such as care coordination, mental health support, and addiction support.


Board & Committees

Steering Committee

Community Advisory Committee

Barbara Smith


Michelle Hornbeck


Emily Fox


Bernabe Ruiz


Kelvin Harris



Membership & Associate Membership

Welcome Home Coalition maintains partnership with Members and Associate Members

Membership Overview

Our Members are not-for-profit organizations who create more equitable housing options across our region. Members commit to:

  • Upholding Welcome Home’s mission and vision
  • Working to eliminate inequalities in race and class in housing outcomes
  • Creating more equitable housing options by participating in policy advocacy, providing culturally specific and culturally responsive services, and/or creating affordable housing units
  • Uplifting the voices of those most impacted by the housing crisis
  • Participating in workgroups, strategic planning processes, and advocacy convened by Welcome Home
  • Participating in coalition voting processes (See Decision-Making Policy Here)

Associate Membership Overview

Our Associate Members are for-profit community groups that endorse Welcome Home’s mission, vision, and support the work of our members. Associate Members commit to:

  • Endorsing Welcome Home’s mission and vision
  • Supporting policies that center the well-being of those most impacted by the housing crisis
  • Uplifting systems change to create more equitable housing options in our region
  • Partnering with Welcome Home to host housing justice events
  • Participating in workgroups, strategic planning processes, and advocacy as a non-voting coalition member
  • Submitting an annual sponsorship fee


Our Coalition

We are a network of organizations, advocates, and neighbors with a shared vision of a future where everyone has a safe, affordable place to call home.

Staff

Our Staff creates connections between coalition members, community partners, and policymakers to advance housing options across the tri-county region.

Advisory Bodies

Community Advisory Committee

Our Community Advisory Committee is made up of individuals with lived experiences of homelessness and housing insecurity. This committee guides Welcome Home's priorities.

Steering Committee

Our Steering committee members are representatives of our partner organizations. This committee guides Welcome Home's priorities.

Board

Our Board provides oversight and guidance to ensure that the organization successfully stays aligned with its mission and values. Board members serve as individuals and not representatives of organizations.

Members

Our membership is made up of partners from 80+ not-for-profit organizations who create more equitable housing options across our region. 

Associate Members

Associate Members are community groups that endorse Welcome Home’s mission, vision, and the work of our members. 


Community Conversations for Housing Justice

Community Conversations for Housing Justice

Welcome Home launched Community Conversations for Housing Justice to connect with community groups to facilitate conversations about the root causes of homelessness and to discuss solutions that are rooted in dignity and sustainability.

Why Community Events?

Housing is on everybody’s mind and many of us want to do something to fix the crisis but it can feel overwhelming. Let’s come together and break down the issue and learn from each other and hopefully, attendees leave these conversations with new information and action steps, new relationships, and new hope!

How do we facilitate these events?

Following a brief informational presentation by Welcome Home’s director, advocates from our Voices for Housing Justice program, who have lived experience with homelessness/housing instability, take time to share their personal stories. Afterward, the Welcome Home director facilitates an open dialogue with event attendees about concerns and solutions to our housing crisis. 

How do I get involved?

Please email us at info@welcomehomecoalition.org if you are interested in hosting an event or have other questions. There is no community group too small. We are excited to connect with new partners to promote a holistic understanding of our housing and homelessness crisis.


We Need a Thriving Workforce

Community-based social service workers are essential to addressing our region's housing crisis.

For those most affected by the housing crisis, the repercussions of direct service workers not making living wages are dysfunctional systems that undermine our goals of addressing our housing crisis. Our region needs adequate pay for direct service workers doing the work of housing and keeping our community housed. Sign on to our letter to demand that county and city budgets include increases for higher wages within community-based organization contracts.

Community-based social workers make less than half of the local housing wage.

According to the 2022 “Out of Reach,” report from The National Low Income Housing Coalition a resident in the Portland Metro Area needs a $33/hour wage to afford a fair market two-bedroom apartment in the Portland Metro Area. Currently, there are social service worker positions starting as low as $16/hour at community-based organizations.With so many direct services workers on incomes less than half of the required wages, some community-based workers qualify for the housing subsidies they administer. Housing that is affordable generally refers to a household’s ability to pay for housing and still have money remaining for other expenses and savings. The common threshold for affordability is no more than 30% of a household’s income should be spent on housing costs.

Community-based social workers are the key to connecting our neighbors to stable housing.

When direct social service workers do not make a living wage, negatively impacts the folks they serve. Shuffling direct service workers around impacts their ability to build trusted relationships with the population in one area over time. Trust and expectations are at the heart of agencies’ ability to get households out of homelessness and keep them housed. We need a stable workforce to do this essential work.


Research

Our coalition works to increase community-held knowledge of housing policy through research & community events. See resources below:

We Need More Affordable Housing

A Regional Housing Needs Assessment by OHCS and ECONorthwest released in 2021 concluded that Oregon must create an estimated 554,691 more housing units to fulfill the state’s housing needs between 2020-2040. This resource documents our regional & state housing shortages.

Read More

Innovative Solutions to Our Regions Housing Crisis

These talking points were created in the fall of 2022 to increase support for investments in innovative housing solutions that are rooted in dignity and sustainability.

Read More

Oregon Housing Policy History

Portland is facing a deep housing affordability crisis marked by residential segregation and a racial gap in homeownership. This research, conducted by Welcome Home’s 2021 Emerson Fellow, reviews federal & local housing policies and their impact on the housing crisis.

Read More

Voices for Housing Justice

Voices for Housing Justice

Voices for Housing Justice aims to build a network of empowered housing advocates with lived experience with homelessness or housing insecurity.

Why Advocacy Trainings?

Welcome Home’s advocacy trainings are guided by our vision of a future of housing options that meet the real needs of people in our region and policies that work to eliminate inequities in race and class in housing outcomes. To do this work, we know that it is essential to uplift the voices of those most affected by harmful housing policies. We also recognize that policy advocacy is time intensive and often inaccessible for many people. Currently, we offer a four-session advocacy training program for cohorts of individuals with lived experience. The program offers basic education about housing policy in our region, the importance of storytelling for advocacy, and practice crafting personal stories. The goal of the program is to empower people who want to see more accessible and affordable housing in our region. The training aspires to enable people to tell their housing stories from a place of confidence.

How do we remove barriers to participating in advocacy?

In order to acknowledge the time and expertise that advocates bring to these trainings, we pay each participant and provide food. We also provide childcare and transportation assistance, if needed. There is no cost to organizations for hosting our advocacy trainings.

Who is involved?

Our Regional Organizer partners with housing and direct service organizations along with communities of advocates to host our trainings. Trainings are organized into cohorts that reflect shared life experiences. You do not need to be a member of our coalition to host a training as we are always excited to meet with new partners also passionate about housing justice!

How do I get involved?

Email us! There is no cohort too small and all experiences are valid. We must use our collective power to ensure the public and policymakers invest in policies that fund and enable access to housing options that meet the real needs of people in our region!