A pilot project called A Place for You will help deliver accessory dwelling units (ADUs) to select homeowners willing to host families experiencing homelessness. 

The Multnomah Idea Lab and Enhabit 

The Multnomah Idea Lab (MIL) is a learning lab within Multnomah County’s Department of County Human Services. Enhabit is managing the $350,000 pilot project on behalf of the County. Enhabit (formerly Clean Energy Works), has spent years working with governments, utilities and residential customers on energy-efficiency, seismic and other home-improvement projects. Enhabit’s role in A Place For You includes overseeing design and installation, working on site selection, and serving as a point of contact for participants.

Portland’s Housing Problem

The number of families experiencing homelessness in Multnomah County is at a record high and our community lacks enough affordable units to meet the region’s increased housing demands. The community needs about 25,000 more affordable housing units. Last year, the City of Portland and Multnomah County jointly allocated $61 million to address this crisis and increase the affordable housing supply in Multnomah County. At the same time, the City and County face an immediate and urgent need to get families off the street now, as extended shelter stays are very challenging, especially for families with children.

How it Works

The County has contracted with Enhabit to manage a pilot project to design and install ADUs in four privately owned yards. A homeless family would live there rent free for five years. At the end of that time, homeowners would have unrestricted use of the ADUs. Family tenants would be referred through A Home For Everyone’s (AHFE) Homeless Families’ Coordinated Access system. A Home for Everyone is a community-wide plan for addressing homelessness through a mix of strategies including prevention, housing placement and shelter. During the five years, families would receive full social service support through AHFE.

Qualifying Criteria

Details are still being worked out. But we expect to give preference to properties within close proximity to key services such as public transit, public schools, a grocery store and day care.

Benefits to Homeowners

  • We’re working to ensure limited-to-no costs for homeowners
  • We expect to offer a tax abatement for the years the ADU is part of the project
  • Increased social networking, community building, and hope

Benefits for Families

  • Privacy away from a shelter or doubled-up living situation
  • Stability for children who can attend the same school
  • Increased social networking, community building, and hope

Deadline to Apply is April 3

You can visit https://enhabit.org/adu/ to apply to be a homeowner participant. The sign-up form will be removed on April 3. 

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