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Housing Production Strategy

  • Gresham needs more housing. The housing production strategy project will create a six-year plan to address Gresham's unmet housing needs:

    • Gresham doesn't have enough housing for its population of over 114,000.
    • The City is expected to grow by another 6,229 households by 2041.
    • Housing is not affordable for many of Gresham's residents.  

    This project is part of the City's overall Housing For All efforts.

    • The project includes a focus on housing equity with public input. 
    • The plan will include tools, policies and actions. 

    Project information 

    • Status and Updates
    • Project Schedule
    • Project Background
    • Project Documents
    • Contact
    Status and Updates

    Community feedback

    We asked about your experiences with housing, and here's what we heard:

    • Cost is a barrier to housing for people community wide. 
    • Barriers to housing are different for different communities. Some people face language challenges. Others find the down payment or credit score requirements a problem. Not all landlords know about fair housing laws. 
    • Priorities in housing are different for different communities. While parks and open spaces are important to many, living close to family or grocery stores can be more significant to others. There is a lack of small housing and units accessible to people in the disabled community. 
    •  The City should be a part of the housing conversation. Residents want the City to help connect people looking for housing with providers, advocates and nonprofits. Many people would like to see more variety.

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    Project Schedule

    Project schedule

    • Winter 2022: Project kick-off: Refining the schedule and recruiting a project advisory group.
    • Spring 2022: Gathering data and feedback: Collecting and analyzing data and public engagement.
    • Spring/Summer 2022: Strategies to meet future housing needs: Using what we learn to develop action measures.
      • Community liaison led focus groups with key underserved communities about their experience with housing.
        Project advisory group made up of housing developers and service providers formed and met about community contexts and strategy formation.
      • Consultants interviewed housing developers and service providers to identify barriers to housing production.
    • Summer/Fall 2022: Draft and final housing production strategy report.
    • Winter/Spring 2023: Housing production strategy review and adoption.
    Project Background

    There is a housing crisis. Not just in Oregon, but nationwide. 

    To address this, the Oregon State legislature passed House Bill 2003 in 2019 to help local communities meet the diverse housing needs of Oregonians. The law requires Gresham to study future housing needs of its residents and develop strategies to encourage production of needed housing.

    • The bill requires Gresham to analyze what housing is needed every six years for both current and future residents (Housing Capacity Analysis).
    • The bill then requires every city to adopt a Housing Production Strategy (HPS). The strategy includes specific tools, actions and policies to promote the development of all identified housing needs – such as revising regulations or providing financial incentives. 

    The HPS overlaps with the City's housing priorities in Gresham's Strategic Plan. And it directly relates to the Council’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion project. 

    Public involvement efforts

    • Interviews and focus groups with: 
      • Housing developers: people who design or build housing or land developers.  
      • Housing consumers: owners and renters; also including property managers. 
      • Housing service providers: organizations that run shelters or provide transitional, supportive, affordable, cooperative or special housing.
    • Public open houses
    • Project advisory group meetings
    • Planning Commission work sessions and hearings
    • Council round table meetings and hearings

    Why this work is important 

    Gresham will need more than 6,000 new dwelling units in the next 20 years and a wider variety of housing types than is currently being built.

    Based on census estimates, about 44% of Gresham’s households are paying more than 30% of their income on rent (cost burdened) and 21% are paying more than 50% (severely cost burdened).

    • These percentages are higher in Gresham than elsewhere in Multnomah County. 
    • The cost burden of Gresham residents varies by ownership status.
    • About 64% of Gresham renters are cost burdened, and about 28% of Gresham homeowners are cost burdened. 

    Cost burden also varies by race and ethnicity. In the Portland metro region, the percentage of households paying more than 30% of their income in rent are:

    • American Indian or Alaska Native: 54%
    • Asian: 39%
    • Black or African American: 53%
    • Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander: 25%
    • White: 46%
    • Hispanic or Latino (of all races): 57%

    Housing production strategy

    The second phase in the City's planning is to support a variety of housing options. It includes the housing production needed to provide fair and equitable housing for all.

    • Phase 1: What Gresham has and needs: Housing capacity analysis, completed October 2021.
    • Phase 2: Strategies to get us there: Housing Production Strategy, beginning winter 2022.
    • Phase 3: Implementation, expected 2023.

    Related links

    Project Documents

    Terra Wilcoxson, Senior Planner