What is Affordable vs. Subsidized Housing and how to understand federally funded low income housing programs?

Click here to access the National Low Income Housing Coalition 2023 Advocates' GuideEvery year, the National Low Income Housing Coalition publishes the Advocates’ Guide to Housing and Community Development Policy to educate advocates of all kinds about the programs and policies that make housing affordable to low-income people across America. Whether you are a student in an urban planning program, a new employee at a housing agency or community development corporation, or a seasoned affordable housing advocate looking for a refresher on key programs, this resource will give you the overview of housing programs and advocacy tools you need to be a leader in the affordable housing movement and to advocate effectively for socially just housing policy for low-income Americans. 

Affordable Housing

Fixed rent rates designated to serve households in specific income brackets. The Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program creates affordable apartments with lower-than-market rents by offering tax incentives to the property owners. Properties may contain a mixture of market rate units that are not financially assisted and units with reduced rent. This list contains tax credit apartment buildings in the state of Oregon. Rents are based on area median incomes (AMI). The rent prices may vary for the same sized unit in the same building depending on the level of tax credits.

State of Oregon:

Multnomah County:

Washington County:

Clackamas County:

​N/NE Preference Policy Rental Update

The Portland Housing Bureau is currently accepting Preference Policy rental applications ​for affordable rental housing opportunities in North and Northeast Portland. Opportunities include Beatrice Morrow, Charlotte B. Rutherford Place, Garlington Place, King + Parks, Renaissance Commons, and Songbird. ​The Preference Policy gives preference to residents that have been harmed by Portland city action through urban renewal practices within the Interstate Corridor Urban Renewal Area (ICURA). The waitlist is open to everyone, however, current and former residents of North and Northeast Portland will be considered before those that have not resided in the area.​

There is no closing date. If you applied for N/NE rental housing opportunities before 2021, you will need to submit another application to be considered for these rental housing opportunities. ​Once the application round ​is ​closed, the waitlist is sorted in order of points claimed on the application from highest to lowest, with priority status households at the top of the list, followed by six-point households, then five-point households, and so on. Families will be selected from the waitlist for housing openings in order of preference. Once the family has moved to the top of the waiting list, applicants will be screened by the housing provider to determine eligibility for the housing opportunity. Please note that the housing provider will contact you only if your name reaches the top of the waiting list.

​To apply click here, review the eligibility information, instructions and complete the application online.

​New Buildings in Development:5020 N Interstate – Winter 2024 - Community Development Partners and SEI; Albina One – Winter 2025 - Albina Vision Trust; The Alcena – Spring 2025 - PCRI

Every month, the team will review applicants that have been on the waitlist for 12 months or longer to confirm their active status. This means that applicants will receive an email, a phone call, and/or a letter asking them to confirm their interest in remaining on the waitlist.

​Need Assistance?

For answers to the most commonly asked questions, visit the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page.

For questions about the Preference Policy Waitlist, contact the helpline at 503-823-4147, Monday, Wednesday, Friday from 9:00 am - 11:00 am and 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm, or send an email anytime to PHBWaitlist@portlandoregon.gov.​

Subsidized Housing

Tenant rent is calculated as a percentage of gross income. Rent is generally 28.5% to 30% of gross income. Nationwide search tool -  Search HUD's reduced rent units for low-income households

State of Oregon:

Multnomah County:

Developmental Disability Specific Resources:

Eastgate Station 
  • Eastgate Station gives priority placement on their housing waitlist to individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. This property has HUD subsidized units and some of them are ADA accessible. 
  • Contact: 100 NE 120th, Portland, OR 97220; 503-257-0000; eastgate@pinhurstmanagement.com
Pioneer Abodes 
  • HUD subsidized housing. Requires that each household contain an individual with a developmental disability. 
  • 9 Units - 1 and 2 bedroom units. Monthly rent based on 30% of gross income.  
Kehillah Housing
  • HUD subsidized housing. Requires that each household contain an individual with a developmental disability. 
  • 1 bedroom units only. Monthly rent based on 30% of gross income.

Washington County: 

Clackamas County:

Home Forward Programs

Home Forward is the designated Housing Authority for Multnomah County and largest provider of affordable/subsidized housing in the area. 

To be notified about updates and waitlist openings sign up for Home Forward's newsletter here, enter your email address next to the Subscribe button. 

Public Housing and Project Based Section 8

Subsidized housing - subsidy is attached to the building/unit and does not transfer with the tenant should they move. Many wait lists are closed. Wait lists open usually 1 - 3 times a year and remain open for about a weeks time.

Section 8 / Housing Choice Voucher

Home Forward has three preferences that are available for people to sign up for even when out wait lists are closed:

ADA Accessible Unit Preference (see Accessible Housing section below for other options)

Home Forward maintains separate wait lists for their ADA accessible units. There are varying degrees of accessibility features. These units are reserved for individuals needing ADA features like grab bars for balance in the bathroom, lowered countertops and cupboards for easier access, more space in doorways/hallways related to mobility/balance issues or mobility devices. To apply complete the Priority Verification Requiring Unit With Accessible Features, send/take it to their doctor, have them fill out the bottom of the form and once it has been verified, a housing application for the ADA units will be sent to the applicant. 

Once completed the verification form ca be faxed to 503-280-3766 or mailed to Home Forward, 135 SW Ash, Portland, OR 97204. For questions 503-280-3750 [contact info updated 1/9/23].

    Congregate Housing Services Program (CHSP) 

    CHSP is designed to help seniors and people with disabilities live independently in their own apartments. This program is for people who have a disability that impacts their ability to do every day things like standing to cook or bathing safely, grocery shopping, getting transportation or doing housekeeping and laundry. The program may include dinner 7 nights a week, housekeeping, laundry services, an on-site case manager in the building and personal care tasks depending on the individual’s needs. If a person needs assistance with these types of things they may qualify for the program. To be eligible for this program, residents must live at Dahlke Manor, Grace Peck, Holgate House, or Unthank Plaza. Rent is subsidized and tenants pay 28.5% to 30% of their adjusted gross income for rent. 

    There are two ways to access the program:

    Private Pay – The tenant pays 15% of their income for the services package. If an individual is interested and in need of this program, the case manager or they themselves can send a referral email to the contact person below. The referral email should contain the contact information for the applicant and a brief summary of their need for the program. After we receive the referral a Case Manager from our program would do an assessment with the applicant and present it to a committee that votes on eligibility and the case manager would assist them in filling out housing applications.

    Medicaid – If they are assessed by Medicaid and found eligible for in-home services such as a home care worker, they would automatically qualify for the program and Medicaid would pay for the services. The Case Manager assigned to them through Aging, Disability and Veteran Services (ADVS) would send a referral form and then Home Forward staff would meet with them to do an assessment and to assist them in filling out housing applications.

    Referrals emails and or forms for CHSP can be sent to Adrianna.Rickard@homefoward.org or be faxed attention Adrianna Rickard to 503-280-3766. She can also be reached for questions at 503-280-3703.

    Terminal Illness Preference

    Home Forward offers priority status to applicants experiencing a terminal illness, who have been diagnosed with a life expectancy of less than 12 months. When a doctor has indicated that a person has 12 months or less to live, the doctor will need to complete the Prospect Priority Verification due to Health form. Call 503-280-3750 for more information and to identify staff at Home Forward to whom the form should be sent. This will allow the participant to be bumped to the top of the wait lists for Section 8 and/or Public Housing. 

    Accessible Housing Options

    See Home Forward section above for information about their Public Housing Accessible Unit waitlist.

    Eastgate Station - 13 HUD subsidized wheelchair accessible units. Priority placement on waitlist for applicants with intellectual & developmental disabilities.

    Quad Inc Property Management - operates five independent living wheelchair-accessible apartments in the Portland Metro Area. 

    • Burnside Station - 21 wheelchair accessible 1 and 2 bedroom apartments. HUD Section 8 subsidies for low-income applicants, rents are 30% of residents adjusted monthly income.
    • Central Station - 23 wheelchair accessible 1 and 2 bedroom apartments in Gresham, OR. HUD Section 8 subsidies for low-income applicants, rents are 30% of residents adjusted monthly income.
    • Myers Court - 19 fully accessible apartments. HUD Section 8 subsidies for low-income applicants, rents are 30% of residents adjusted monthly income. 
    • Rolling Green (Washington County) - 25 fully accessible one and two bedroom units. HUD Section 8 subsidies for low-income applicants, rents are 30% of residents adjusted monthly income.
    • Station 16225 one bedroom accessible units. Offers below market rents to households with incomes below 60% of Area Median Income.  

    Market Rate Search Engines you can filter to search for Accessible Units

    ApartmentGuide.com - Allows you to filter search results to find units with "disability access". 

    Apartments.com - Allows you to filter search results to find units with "Wheelchair Access"

    Apartmentlist.com - Allows you to filter search results to find units with "Accessible Apartments"

    Apartmentfinder.com - Allows you to filter search results to find units with "Wheelchair Access"

    Single Room Occupancy

    Units are limited to one person occupancy and may have shared kitchen and/or bathroom facilities. 

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