December 12, 2017
Re: Regional Solutions Workforce Housing Initiative
Partners and Stakeholders -
Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS), in collaboration with Governor Brown's Regional Solutions Cabinet, has issued a Request for Applications (RFA) in support of workforce housing pilot projects. The total amount of assistance available for all pilot projects is between $1,000,000 - $4,500,000.
The lack of "workforce housing" at incomes between 60% AMI and 120% AMI undermines community vitality, hitting rural areas particularly hard. Oregonians with lower to mid-range salaries are struggling to find attainable housing that is located within a reasonable proximity to their employment. Employers ranging from manufacturing and engineering, to health and education, are struggling to recruit and retain an adequate workforce due to a lack of available housing options.
Under Governor Brown's leadership, the Regional Solutions Cabinet agencies have reviewed their programs to find opportunities to partner with local governments, the business sector, and housing developers to address the workforce housing shortage in Oregon. A Request for Information (RFI) was issued in September 2017 to gather information and identify the state resources that would be helpful. The RFI responses confirmed that the workforce housing shortage constrains economic growth and job creation in many communities. The RFI garnered thirty-seven responses, with 60% coming from local governments (22) and 40% coming from developers/builders (10) and businesses/employers (7). The majority originated from rural communities, but there were also several from urban areas or communities that fall within major metropolitan areas. Respondents offered a number of thoughtful ideas for how public-private partnerships could address the workforce housing shortage in Oregon.
The State of Oregon, acting by and through its Housing and Community Services Department (OHCS) in collaboration with the Regional Solutions Cabinet through the Governor's Office, described herein, is seeking applications from private or public entities actively engaged in producing workforce housing that will support economic growth and permanent family wage jobs in Oregon. The Regional Solutions Cabinet agencies include the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), the Department of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD), the Department of Transportation (ODOT), the Housing and Community Services Department (OHCS), and the Oregon Business Development Department (Business Oregon).
Applications may be submitted by housing developers, municipalities, employers, financial institutions, philanthropic organizations or other groups.
General reminders about this Request for Applications #914-4617-17:
- The RFA will be open until January 25, 2018 at 3:00 p.m.
- The RFA is located online at http://www.oregon.gov/ohcs/Pages/agency-procurement-nofas-contracts-solicitations.aspx. Please continue to check this website for new project information and addenda.
- All questions and requests for clarifications relating to the content of the RFA should be sent via email to: OHCS.Contracts@oregon.gov.
- There will be two optional Pre-Application Conferences to provide additional description of the initiative; explain the RFA process; and answer any questions Applicants may have related to the project or associated programs.
- Pre-Application Conference #1 is scheduled for Friday December 15th at 2 p.m. Participants may attend in-person or by phone. To receive conference information please RSVP to OHCS.Contracts@oregon.gov
- We look forward to receiving applications and initiating pilot projects to help overcome barriers to workforce housing development across the state.
Margaret Solle Salazar
Director, Oregon Housing and Community Services
Read the Technical Advisory here