Financial incentives are one method that jurisdictions can use to encourage the production, preservation, and accessibility of affordable housing units. Such incentives provide subsidies to improve the economics of affordable housing. Generally, housing relies on residents to pay rent or purchase units as the primary source of income to construct and operate housing over time. When rent or the purchase price of housing is set at a lower amount to remain affordable to households with lower incomes, this generated income is typically not enough to fund the construction and operation of the housing. Financial incentives are one way to fill the resulting gap between income and expenses in affordable housing projects or make home ownership more attainable.
Financial incentives can both reduce expenses and offer additional income to affordable homes and larger housing developments. These incentives can take the form of one-time assistance or over time, and may be used to fund construction, acquisition/preservation, operations, or maintenance/repair of affordable units. Incentives or assistance are offered to property owners, including non-profit and for-profit developers, housing authorities, and individual homeowners. Like all incentives, calibrating the affordability requirements, including the term of affordability and income qualifications of the residents, to the value of the incentive is critical so that the incentive is effective.
Where Are Financial Incentives Being Used?
The map illustrates financial incentives currently utilized by jurisdictions with populations greater than 20,000 people in the Portland metro area. Financial incentives that may be permitted through policies unrelated to affordable housing, but that may be used to encourage affordable housing, are not included on the map, but are captured in the For More Information section below.
A summary of financial incentives currently utilized by metro area jurisdictions is illustrated on the map below. To view a summary of the financial incentives available in each jurisdiction, click on the Comparative Matrix button below. For complete information, please contact the appropriate jurisdiction.