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 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.


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.

Listen below to Calvin tell his story on PSU’s Understanding Homelessness podcast:

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!

Our History

Founded in 2014, the Welcome Home Coalition was formed to address the growing housing crisis in the Portland Metro Area of Oregon. Since our founding, our network has successfully passed initiatives to ensure more people have access to quality housing. Today, we are a diverse coalition of organizations with a shared vision of our region.

Our History



  • Welcome Home began a campaign to pass the Yes, for Affordable Homes to allow the City of Portland to invest in affordable housing.
  • Welcome Home led advocacy to increase the Tax Increment Financing (TIF) for Affordable Housing in the City of Portland. In July 2015, the City of Portland increased the TIF from 30% to 45% – successfully increasing funds for affordable housing development.

  • Portland voters passed the Yes, for Affordable Homes, measure 26-179 (City of Portland Affordable Housing Bond). The $258 million bond set out to add 1,300 housing units. As of 2022, all the original housing goals have been exceeded.

  • Welcome Home led advocacy to pass the Yes, for Affordable Housing, measure 26-199 (Portland Metro Regional Affordable Housing Bond) & measure 102 (Statewide constitutional amendment), to create permanently affordable homes across Washington, Clackamas, and Multnomah counties.

  • Voters passed Yes, for Affordable Housing. The $652.8 million bond has the goal to build or preserve an estimated 2,400-3,900 housing units for residents living on low incomes.

  • Welcome Home Coalition members participated in the creation of the Here Together measure (measure 26-210), an income tax to fund Supportive Housing Services. The measure is expected to generate $2.5 billion over 10 years to provide housing assistance and services for people experiencing homelessness or housing insecurity.
  • Welcome Home hired a Regional Organizer and hosted an Emerson Hunger Fellow to promote advocacy centered around listening to those who have lived experiences of housing insecurity.

  • Welcome Home’s Regional Organizer began community advocacy training with a cohort of people with lived experience with homelessness.
  • Voters passed the Here Together measure.
  • Welcome Home focused its advocacy priorities on increasing funding for rent assistance and supporting state and local eviction prevention laws in response to the COVID pandemic. These efforts carried into 2021.

  • Welcome Home hired a Development Associate in order to fund stipends for participants of our advocacy programming and hosted a second Emerson Hunger Fellow to research new housing policies to potentially advocate for in our region.
  • Welcome Home offered financial support to culturally specific and culturally responsive organizations to increase their community organizing capacity.
  • Welcome Home engaged with TriMet to advance a more equitable Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) strategy. As part of the Getting There Together Coalition, we advocated that TriMet commit to ensuring affordable housing development along with new transit developments.
  • The Supportive Housing Services Measure dispersed its first round of funding to social service organizations. Along with other successes, these new public funds have allowed for over 1,000 supportive housing units to be created from July through December 2021.

  • Welcome Home Coalition continues to engage in the community to ensure people with lived experience of homelessness or housing instability are involved in solution creation and implementation.
  • As of May 2022, Portland Housing Bond has opened 452 new affordable units. 545 more units will open in 2022 and 493 will open in 2023.
  • As of March 2022, the Metro Housing Bond has opened 180 new affordable units with 1,092 units currently under construction.

Our Work

We use community education, research, and advocacy to advance housing policies that enable all our neighbors to succeed.

Policy Advocacy

We advocate for policies that increase the supply of affordable homes, remove barriers to housing, and enable all our neighbors to be successful in their housing outcomes.

Leadership Development

We work with people directly impacted by our region’s housing crisis to bring voices with lived experience of housing insecurity to decision making tables.

Mission and Vision


Welcome Home is a diverse coalition in the Portland metropolitan region that uses its collective resources to create healthy communities by ensuring everyone has an affordable and stable home. We use community education and collaboration, advocacy, and research to advance housing policies that enable all our neighbors to prosper.


We envision a future of housing options that meet the real needs of people in our region. We strive to eliminate inequities in race and class in housing outcomes.


Rents were increasing up to 30%, vacancy rates were at 2%, homeless shelters were becoming more packed, and communities of color were becoming increasingly displaced.

JOIN, Street Roots, ROSE Community Development Corporation, Housing Oregon, Community Alliance of Tenants, and the Native American Youth and Family Center decided to form a coalition to bring together the many voices concerned with the lack of funding at a time when cuts to safety net services were devastating.

The director hired, built out basic infrastructure on a shoestring budget; researched national approaches and best practices to generate revenue at the local level.

Developed leadership training and speaker’s bureau to support community members to play a key role as advocates - testify, share their story, and campaign.

Increased Portland’s TIF affordable housing set aside from 30% to 45% generating $67 million more over 10 years.

Passed $1.2 million annually in lodging taxes dedicated to Portland’ Housing Investment Fund.

Advocated for increase in City of Portland’s affordable housing budget to $64 million over the next decade.

Passed a construction excise tax in the City of Portland that will generate bringing in $8 million annually.

Conducted a public research poll that showed 62% interest in a property tax and bond to fund affordable housing.

Mobilized over 5,000 volunteers in a campaign that secured $258 million in new funds for the city of Portland.

Inform the development of a bond framework for the City of Portland Housing Bureau.

Increased Portland’s TIF affordable housing set aside from 30% to 45% generating $67 million more over 10 years.

Passed $1.2 million annually in lodging taxes dedicated to Portland’ Housing Investment Fund.

Advocated for increase in City of Portland’s affordable housing budget to $64 million over the next decade.

Passed a construction excise tax in the City of Portland that will generate bringing in $8 million annually.

Begin advocacy for Metrowide regional housing for $652 million.

Served as a key stakeholder on Yes for Affordable Housing campaign.

Our community is stronger when we work together. Join us in ensuring all our neighbors have an affordable place to call home.
Get Involved

Equity in Action

Equity Statement

Welcome Home Coalition knows that people are denied access to housing resources based on their intersecting identities of race, ethnicity, language, immigrant and/or refugee status, faith, gender identity, disability, sexual orientation, specific diagnosis, or identifiable issue, family structure or socioeconomic status. We are committed to pursuing policy solutions and strategies that are equitable to all in both access and outcomes. We believe that confronting our region’s housing crisis with an equity lens is critical to preserving the dignity, humanity, and uniqueness of each and every one of our neighbors. This means we create a region where the voices of those with lived experience of homelessness and/or housing instability are authentically elevated in policymaking. We believe in our collective ability to do better. Doing better starts with listening to those who have been most harmed by housing policies.

Staff and Members

Welcome Home Coalition values the unique talents and diverse perspectives of our staff and members.


Molly Hogan, Director

Molly Hogan, Director

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Maecenas tincidunt venenatis ante, non rutrum ex. Aenean id porttitor leo, sit amet dictum est. Duis ornare consequat blandit. Donec ultricies elit ac vestibulum cursus. Phasellus id nibh vitae neque mattis viverra in eget tortor. In id nisi id massa gravida ultricies sed nec augue. Integer sodales magna in nisi fringilla, nec lobortis mauris molestie. Suspendisse magna turpis, mattis nec urna facilisis, consectetur scelerisque augue. Sed sit amet finibus quam, tempus varius tellus. Nulla euismod quam vitae tincidunt blandit. Proin vehicula lacus consequat, convallis nisl vel, facilisis diam. Donec vestibulum non turpis vel pharetra. Quisque ornare hendrerit consequat.

Steering Committee

Community Advisory Committee

Barbara Smith

Michelle Hornbeck

Bernabe Ruiz

Kelvin Harris


We are made up of diverse organizations in Washington, Clackamas, and Multnomah Counties.

Thank you to our members!

Help us continue to build a movement to ensure everyone has a safe, stable and accessible home.

Donate Today

Get Involved


Supporting the Welcome Home Coalition means investing in a movement for safe, stable, affordable homes for everyone in the Portland Metro region.


Stay Connected!

Get regular updates and volunteer opportunities sent directly to your inbox!

* indicates required
() - (###) ###-####