Report: Majority Of Portland Residents Can't Afford Average Rent, Median Home Prices

Oct 25, 2017

A new report by Portland housing staff finds that a majority of city residents do not make enough money to rent a home within what are considered standards of affordability.

The standard rule of thumb holds that to be affordable, a house or apartment should cost no more than 30 percent of household income. By that measure, the report found that last year, more than 60 percent of Portland renters could not afford the average monthly rent of $1,052 dollars for a two-bedroom home in the city.

“It was a bit eye-opening but I wasn’t entirely surprised. Overall we know we have issues here with housing in Portland, and we wanted this report to help us establish sort of a baseline that we could move forward with,” says Mary Davis, director of the city’s housing and community development division.

The report also found that an even larger proportion of city residents could not afford the median price of buying a home in the city. It comes in the wake of a sharp increase in city property values and rents over this decade — and just before a November vote on a ballot item that would limit rent hikes.