Equitable Housing Site Barriers and Solutions

Contact: Kim Armstrong, senior planner | 503-846-3686


The Equitable Housing Barriers and Solutions project, funded by a Metro grant, identified County regulations and development code standards that may be barriers to housing development, and recommends code amendments and other actions to reduce those barriers. The final report is includes recommendations for amendments to the Community Development Code (CDC) as well as considerations for policy and program support changes:



pomeroy place development

Multifamily rental housing is in short supply—regional vacancy rates are well below 5 percent and rents are rising more quickly than the national average. Washington County’s 2015-2020 Consolidated Plan estimated an affordable housing gap of 14,000 to 23,000 units for residents at or below 50 percent of median family income (roughly $36,750 for a family of four). With one out of four County households earning less than $35,000 a year, the current supply of regulated affordable housing falls short of the need.

The primary purpose of this project is to clearly identify regulatory and code requirements that negatively impact development feasibility and/or increase development costs for projects that include residential uses, with a focus on encouraging equitable housing development in Washington County. The County has proactively made land available for more affordable housing developments, increased staff capacity to address housing issues, and is working to identify ways to amend regulations and processes to encourage and support equitable and affordable housing development.

With funding from the Metro Equitable Housing Grant, the County drill down to a site-specific level of analysis of equitable housing barriers and solutions, specifically:

  • Further evaluate affordable housing opportunities in the Cedar Mill Town Center;
  • Further evaluate specific affordable housing opportunities in the Aloha Town Center area;
  • Evaluate one to three additional affordable housing opportunity sites in transit-supported areas.


Study Area

The general area for this project is the unincorporated urban area of Washington County. However, previous planning work has identified focus areas within unincorporated Washington County that may be more suitable locations housing, particularly housing affordable to lower-income households. These Opportunity Areas are identified in the Washington County Affordable Housing Development Strategy, which includes the Cedar Mill Town Center, the Aloha Tomorrow project study area, and the Washington Square Regional Center. 

Affordable Housing Development Strategy Map


Click to download PDF file of timeline

Phase 1: Project Initiation and Public Involvement (ongoing)

  • Public Involvement Plan
  • TAG meetings 

Phase 2: Site Identification and Selection (Fall 2017

  • TAG Formed
  • Performance Measures
  • Profile Memos

Phase 3: Develop Concepts and Identify Barriers (Fall/Winter 2017)

  • Building/Development Types
  • Develop Designs/Concepts
  • Summary of Key Findings

Phase 4: Identify Solutions (Winter 2017/Spring 2018)

  • Summary of Recommendation Revisions

Phase 5: Develop Outline of CDC/CP amendments (Spring 2018)

  • Tier 1 Recommendations
  • Draft Amendments 

Phase 6: Summary Report & Presentation (late Spring 2018)

  • Summary Report
  • Board Agenda
  • Approve Workplan