Exceptions to Portland land use rules, protections for city renters facing eviction or big rent hikes, and political pressure to devote taxpayer and donor money to affordable housing will continue for the foreseeable future, following a unanimous Portland City Council vote Wednesday.
All those measures are intended to curb Portland's critical shortage of affordable housing and spike in homelessness.
The council voted Wednesday to extend for a second time its a declared "housing emergency." It also voted to extend a renter protection policy adopted in February by six months to give city officials time to implement a permanent renter's rights policy.
Instituted in 2015, the emergency declaration has encouraged spending on housing, allowed for flexibility in where city and county officials can open shelters and fast-tracked building permits for affordable housing projects. The council extended the declaration by 18 months and charged the Portland Housing Bureau and the city and county's Joint Office on Homeless Services to develop criteria for when the city should lift the temporary rules.
Commissioners hope to implement permanent rules in the city's zoning codes by then. They might include permanent zoning exemptions that allow for homeless camps such as Right 2 Dream Too or emergency homeless shelters in the winter.