Goals + Outcomes

>> View a list of 2020 AFO grant awards sorted by portfolio

Goal: Preserve + increase the number of affordable housing for priority populations

At a basic level, we simply need more housing, especially more affordable housing. Meyer recognizes that affordable housing is basic social infrastructure — as a community grows it needs more affordable housing, just as it needs more parks, schools and capacity for sewer, water and transportation systems.

The market simply cannot deliver housing that’s affordable to those with very low incomes. Even for those with steady work, affordable housing is becoming more elusive in Oregon communities as rents rise dramatically throughout the state. Population growth, wage stagnation, high construction costs and historically low vacancy rates have all contributed to a chronic shortage of affordable housing.

Also in 2020, we saw the housing and homeless services system challenged by the novel coronavirus COVID-19, and unprecedented wildfires throughout the west coast that devastated thousands of homes in Oregon.  

Communities of color and other marginalized populations are disproportionately impacted by these ongoing crises. We are committed to preserving and increasing the number of affordable housing units in Oregon for these groups of people. 

Intended outcomes

• New units: Increased number of affordable rental housing units and homeownership for priority populations
• Preservation: Strengthened long-term physical and financial viability of existing affordable housing rental units  

Examples of what we might fund

We invest capital grants in a range of acquisition, rehabilitation, preservation and new construction projects across the state. This includes rural projects, projects in high-opportunity urban areas and transit-oriented development. We will prioritize projects that offer, through an equity racial lens, a vision and approach to analyzing historical and current racist and discriminatory housing practices that have created disparities and that are working directly to eliminate those disparities so all Oregonians have the opportunity to obtain safe, stable and affordable housing.

These are only examples to illustrate the types of projects we might fund. We invite other ideas that would further our goals, strategies and intended outcomes.

Goal: Support the housing stability + success of priority populations

Affordable housing gives people the stability to meet their basic needs and the opportunity to build better lives. But many Oregon households face barriers in accessing available housing, retaining their housing and achieving their goals for advancement. We aim to fund interventions and supports that recognize housing stability gaps created by past and present practices of racial discrimination and practices and aim to overcome those barriers, helping marginalized populations to build a better life for themselves on a foundation of stable housing.

Intended outcomes

Outcomes under this goal are all aimed at individual households or groups. 

• Access: Increased access to available housing for priority populations

• Retention: Improved housing stability and retention for priority populations 

• Advancement: Increased opportunities for priority populations to build the resources and skills necessary to advance toward their housing goals

• Mitigating displacement: Increased opportunities for renters and homeowners affected by displacement to remain in their existing homes or communities

• Community influence: Communities most impacted by housing disparities drive decisions around resources, policies and systems

• Innovation and scaling: Innovative and transformational strategies to achieve housing stability are developed and/or expanded

Examples of what we might fund

Housing stability and success may look different in various communities, and we expect to fund a range of approaches that address the needs of specific communities and align with our equity racial lens. Examples include support for harder-to-house populations to find available housing and navigate the application process, wrap-around services and linkages to help residents achieve housing stability, and innovative anti-displacement strategies to help low-income renters and homeowners stay in their homes and communities. In addition to supporting individual resident needs, we seek approaches that help address housing disparities at the neighborhood and community levels, as well as systems-level projects that align and coordinate housing with other major systems of care. This might be done through community organizing or engagement in a policy campaign.

These are only examples to illustrate the types of projects we might fund. We invite other ideas that would further our goals, strategies and intended outcomes.

Goal: Foster stronger, more equitable and more effective affordable housing systems and strategies

We aim to support the strength, effectiveness and long-term health of key organizations, collaboratives and networks involved in advancing our Housing Opportunities goals of equitable housing. Strengthening the housing sector will require a variety of investments designed to confront and undo systemic racism and discrimination. These include investments in organizational capacity, housing portfolio health, strategic partnerships, collaboration and coordination, and increased diversity, equity and inclusion throughout all levels of the housing sector.   

Intended outcomes

Outcomes under this goal are all aimed at organizations, networks, the larger housing sector and systems of care: 

• Organizational capacity: Strengthened skills and capacity of affordable housing organizations contribute to increased effectiveness, efficiency and long-term health

• Network and collaborative capacity: Increased coordination and alignment among a broad range of organizations and systems that impact residents’ lives and lead to better outcomes

• Equity focus: Increased equity commitment among affordable housing organizations and improved understanding of how to advance diversity, equity and inclusion through their work

• Community influence: Communities most impacted by housing disparities are driving decisions around resources, policies and systems

• Policy- and systems-level change: Increased affordable and equitable housing opportunities and reduced housing disparities through changes in public policy, systems and institutional practices. 

Examples of What We Might Fund

We expect to fund organizational capacity building racial efforts as well as collaborative efforts. Priority will be given to projects with a strong equity focus. Examples include planning grants to help multisector partners to align their services to better support BIPOC residents, technical assistance to help an organization develop and operationalize an equity frame for its work, and support for targeted advocacy and systems change work. Policy and systems change examples could range from legislative changes at the local or state through a campaign, to research or community input to determine what systemic or institutional change is needed to address root causes to various housing challenges. 

Meyer seeks to support work centering the lived experience and expertise of people benefitting from programs as well as building the capacity of impacted communities that have faced systemic housing disparities to define and implement their own solutions to housing needs. We are unlikely to fund projects that fail to demonstrate meaningful involvement by the people with lived experience in defining the issues and solutions proposed.

These are only examples to illustrate the types of projects we might fund. We invite other ideas that would further our goals, strategies and intended outcomes.