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Healthy Housing
A Handbook for Portland Property Owners

A number of local efforts have recently shined a spotlight on the relationship between the built environment and the health of low-income Portlanders. Poorly designed housing; a lack of sidewalks and safe crossings; and limited access to recreation, schools, nature, places for social interaction, vital services, preventive medical care, and healthy food all contribute to health challenges that disparately affect low-income residents and communities of color.


General Resources

Open Space

Safety and Security

Resources for Property Owners & Managers

Resources for Residents

Food Security

Food Resources for Residents in Need

  • Oregon Food Bank Network provides food boxes and meals to people in need.
  • Food Buying Clubs buy food in bulk and then split up orders, allowing families to buy healthy food more affordably.
  • Food for Oregon is a database of local and regional community food resources provided by Oregon State University.

Gardening Resources for Property Owners & Residents

  • Growing Gardens builds organic gardens in the backyards of low-income households.
  • Independence Gardens is a consulting group that helps people build and care for edible gardens in Portland.
  • Village Gardens, a project of Janus Youth, is a community organization that runs many programs, including the Food Works farm, and offers individual and family garden plots.
  • Square Foot Gardening teaches people how to maximize the productivity of small gardens using fewer resources and very little work.
  • Groundwork Portland converts land into greenspaces, parks, community gardens and multipurpose sites.
  • Depave is a Portland nonprofit that works to remove unnecessary pavement to create community greenspaces and mitigate stormwater runoff.
  • Portland Brownfield Program, operated by the City of Portland’s Bureau of Environmental Services, provides technical and financial support for transforming brownfields into usable spaces.
  • Urban Farm Collective brings Portland neighbors together to turn vacant lots into neighborhood food gardens.
  • Oregon Food Bank’s Learning Gardens offers gardening courses.

Food Policy & Background

  • Food Systems, a Portland Plan background report by the City of Portland’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, describes food-related challenges in Portland. It includes in-depth analysis of the physical, psychological and social problems resulting from food insecurity.
  • Food System Reports, produced by the Multnomah Food Initiative, provides background on community food assessments and offers local recommendations.
  • Access to Healthy Food Toolkit, from PolicyLink, addresses disparities in food access.

Relieving Overcrowding

  • Overview of the Zoning Code, available from the City of Portland’s Bureau of Development Services, explains the different types of zones and hierarchies contained in the Portland Zoning Code (Title 33).
  • Multi-Dwelling Residential Zones is the zoning code that governs apartments and rowhouses.

Mold and Moisture Control

Pest Management