Affordable Small Homes

“Affordable Small Homes” is a Hacienda CDC- and Verde-led Living Cully project in partnership with Portland Community Reinvestment Initiatives (PCRI) and ROSE Community Development, that lifts up Oregon’s first affordable accessory dwelling unit (ADU) program, designed to serve low-income homeowners and renters. The pilot program will create a replicable model for constructing, financing and managing ADU’s across the Portland metro region on properties owned by lower-income people and in neighborhoods where people of color are most at risk of displacement. The new affordable rental homes are then made available through community-based organizations to low-income people of color and other households at risk of being pushed out by gentrification.

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Equity First

Affordable Small Homes, also known as Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU’s) are ideally suited to increase access to affordable housing for low-income renters by leveraging available land in established neighborhoods, existing infrastructure and willing homeowners. To date though, white, upper-income homeowners and renters in Portland’s most expensive neighborhoods have almost exclusively enjoyed this housing option. 86% of long-term renters in Portland’s ADU’s are white, and 79% have a college degree, according to a 2018 study by PSU’s Institute for Sustainable Solutions. This means that ADU’s are further intensifying Portland’s inequitable housing market, leaving people of color behind. Our proposed equity-first approach will turn this outcome on its head.


Anti-displacement and equity are at the heart of the Affordable Small Homes program. As a pilot project, the program aims to create:

  • Affordable Small Homes financing model based on 60 MFI rent ($916)
  • 10-15 stick- or factory-built, efficient and green small homes in place
  • A community-based small homes development and property management enterprise
  • Equitable and inclusive workforce and contracting opportunities
  • A model for affordability gap investment by public sector


The project leverages the partner’s existing programs for low-income homeowners, and other community outreach, to identify up to 10-15 pilot sites in the Lents, Cully and N/NE Portland neighborhoods where new ADU’s can be developed as an affordable rental for a 60% median family income household. Partners include: