Housing in Portland
The following information is provided to help find the housing option that is right for you. Portland has a wide variety of housing options both on and off campus. For example, you can live in a residence hall, rent an apartment, or live with a host family. Before you arrive in Portland, it is recommended that you take some time to research the layout of the city, different types of housing, and how much they cost. You may wish to make advance arrangements for short-term or temporary housing (such as a homestay), and then look for permanent housing after you arrive in Portland.
Approximately 2,200 students live in University Housing, which operates 9 buildings with various room types. Located on campus, the residence halls are convenient and provide support services and an active social atmosphere. Housing fees are billed to your student account and include all utilities (water, gas, electricity, Internet, etc.). Most units come with furniture, and most students have a roommate. Meal plans are required for students age 20 and under, and are optional for students over age 20. University Housing fills up fast, so you are encouraged to sign up early. If you are arriving for Fall Term, you should sign up before May 1 if possible. Sign up through their Housing Portal.
College Housing Northwest provides housing in seven unique apartment buildings, all within walking distance of campus. For more information, contact 503-222-7105 or visit http://chnw.org/
University Pointe opened in Fall 2012 and offers both furnished and unfurnished shared and private apartments with a variety of floor plans. Apartments have upgraded interior finishes including hardwood-style floors, leather-style furniture, quartz stone countertops, and a full kitchen with stainless steel appliances. The community offers sustainability features including low flow plumbing fixtures, an energy efficient heating and cooling system, an eco-roof, and an on-site recycling center. For more information, click here.
The Portland Area
For information about Portland's neighborhoods, visit the following websites:
Off-campus housing offers more choices in terms of location, types of housing, and costs. However, it can be difficult to find affordable rental housing near to campus, and you will have to sign a rental agreement or lease.
Websites & Resources
Several websites you might find helpful for off-campus housing information are:
- The Willamette Week
- The Oregonian
- Portland Roommate Referral Service
- Apartment search engine
- Apartment list
- Local housing search
- Home Forward (Housing Authority of Portland)
- Hot Pads apartment search engine
- Live Lovely apartment search engine
- Green Renter
- The collective on 4th
Craigslist: Craigslist is a free, public online bulletin board with a very active Portland community. You can search for apartments and house rentals by clicking on “apts / housing” as well as roommates and room-shares by clicking “rooms / shared.” Try posting your own ad in the “housing wanted” section.
RentLingo: RentLingo is a new website that takes data from multiple websites and compiles it for an easier search of all available options. There is also an option from each listing to contact the renter, so you can start the whole process through this one site.
Rent.Com: Rent.com is a similar service to RentLingo that shows information from a variety of different sources and allows you to contact renters directly through their site.
Costs The cost to share an apartment with a roommate starts at about $500/month per person, not including utilities (water, gas, electricity, etc.). The cost to live alone starts at $800/month and can cost up to $1,000/month. Some utilities require setup fees and/or deposits. Most landlords require a one-year rental contract and will expect payment of first and last month's rent and security deposit at the time of rental.
Help with Rental Contracts Negotiating and signing a housing contract can be confusing or difficult – especially if English is not your first language. The PSU Student Legal Services (SLS) office has excellent information about housing agreements and can help you with questions about a housing contract or dispute. Before you arrange for off-campus housing, it would be wise to read the SLS "Landlord Tenant Information". If you would like someone to help you understand a housing contract before you sign it, contact SLS at 503-725-4556 or https://www.pdx.edu/student-legal-services/
Living with a host family is a great way to improve your English and gain a better understanding of American culture. Homestays are relatively inexpensive and include a private room and meals. Most homes are located near public transportation, though it may take 30-60 minutes to get to campus. Homestays can be for a short period of time or for a longer period of time. There are two organizations in Portland that arrange homestays for international students. Please visit their websites to compare homestay arrangements and fees:
Friends of Overseas Citizens and University Students, FOCUS (a Christian organization) homestays are for Portland State University international students and scholars who wish to experience life in an American home. Students pay for a homestay (room and food) and will most likely need to commute from 30 to 60 minutes. A long term homestay may increase your contact with American culture and help you improve your English. Application for long-term stays should be made at least four weeks in advance. A short term homestay is often a good option when you first arrive in Portland and need time to look for permanent housing or are waiting to move into a dormitory. Application for short-term homestays should be made two weeks in advance..
If you have not secured permanent housing before arriving in Portland, you will need to make arrangements to stay in a hotel or hostel.
PSU operates its own University Place Hotel, which is within walking distance of campus. Reservations can be made by calling 503-221-0140 or 866-845-4647 or by visiting the website. It is best to reserve a room at the hotel prior to your arrival. The PSU student rate is around $70 per night. If you have arranged to live in University Housing and your room is not available yet, you can reserve a room at University Place Hotel for a substantial discount.
Other hotels in the downtown area near the PSU campus include the following:
- Econo Lodge City Center: 503-226-7646
- Downtown Value Inn: 503-226-4751
- Travelodge Portland City Center: 503-226-1121
- Sixth Avenue Motel: 503-226-2979
- The Hotel Zags: 503-484-1084, 877-484-1084
- Marriott Portland Downtown Waterfront: 503-226-7600
Portland has two welcoming hostels associated with Hostelling International:
- Northwest Portland Hostel: 503-241-2783
- Portland Hostel Hawthorne District: 503-236-3380, 866-447-3031
Other welcoming hostels in the Portland area:
- Traveler's House: 503-954-2304