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Oregon Centralized Application Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Agreement

OHCS has developed a web-based registry for sponsors to submit their Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Agreement and goal commitments. This must be submitted during Impact Assessment.

The DEI Agreement aims to enhance accountability and ensure applicants’ progress on selected DEI goals. The registry exists independently from projects submitted through the Oregon Centralized Application process. Partners will agree to a living agreement that is updated annually in collaboration with OHCS’ Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Office.

To get on the DEI registry, project owners, developers, and developer consultants will complete a short survey. In this survey, partners will select four out of 15 DEI goal options. After establishing a baseline for DEI, partners will self-report progress on their selected goals annually by renewing their agreement. Partners will work through their DEI goals until they achieve reasonable progress.

To ensure accountability and movement along the continuum of DEI growth, OHCS’ EDI Office will evaluate survey responses and contact partners based on survey responses, identified needs, and partners’ requests for support.

Submit the DEI agreement

OHCS DEI strategy - Global Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Global Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (GDEIB) benchmarks are a foundational element of Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS) Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Action Plan, as GDEIB will be the main method of accountability and measure of DEI goals and outcomes for the next five years. Although the agency has been actively learning about this publicly available resource since 2018, this is the first year OHCS will implement the use of the benchmarks agencywide. When OHCS Affordable Rental Housing Division staff considered improvements for OHCS's DEI Agreement, the GDEIB was an obvious choice and a good opportunity to extend the GDEIB for our affordable rental housing development partners.

GDEIB is a sophisticated diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) tool tailored to foster sustained progress through collaborative efforts, benefiting all stakeholders. Designed to accommodate organizations of diverse scopes and sizes, the GDEIB prioritizes cultivating DEI proficiency, adherence to legal frameworks, respect for human dignity, facilitation of organizational growth, and advocacy for social justice. 

Derived from insights from a distinguished panel of 112 experts, the GDEIB comprises 275 benchmarks, encapsulating proven strategies for elevating organizational performance standards across 15 distinct categories and four groups.

These groups encompass: 

  1. The Foundation Group: Centered on strategic development, this group aligns DEI vision with organizational objectives, reinforcing leadership accountability and support structures. 
  2. The Internal Group: Addressing internal policies and processes, this group focuses on recruitment, advancement, compensation, performance management, and work-life balance initiatives. 
  3. The External Group: Emphasizing engagement with communities and stakeholders, this group underscores the importance of external interactions in DEI endeavors. 
  4. The Bridging Group: Serving as a cohesive link, this group integrates efforts across all domains, recognizing the interconnectedness of various DEI initiatives. 

Effective use of the GDEIB necessitates organizations achieving a minimum rating of level three out of five for each benchmark. Not all groups or benchmarks align with all organizations, so these should be customized to meet your organization's needs.

The five-tiered rating system encompasses: 

  1. Level One - Inactive: No DEI work has begun; DEI is not part of the institutional mission, vision, and goals.
  2. Level Two - Reactive: A compliance mindset; actions are taken primarily to comply with relevant laws and social pressures.
  3. Level Three - Proactive: A clear awareness of the value of DEI; starting to implement DEI systemically where DEI strategies, practices, and staff are becoming competent. This is what is required and expected of all organizations.
  4. Level Four - Progressive: Implementing DEI systemically and showing improved results and outcomes beyond what is required or expected. DEI practices are leading to being embedded into the organization's culture, and all organizational structures support DEI with regular communication and robust learning opportunities.
  5. Level Five – Best Practices: Demonstrating current global best practices in DEI, exemplary DEI strategies are integral and deeply embedded in the organization. These include proactive and responsive actions to DEI challenges and a comprehensive approach to inclusion, equity, and racial justice in all systems and with all internal and external stakeholders.

The GDEIB is a versatile resource for various DEI-related activities, including vision and strategy development, organizational assessment, stakeholder engagement, progress measurement, recruitment guidance, and knowledge sharing. The GDEIB can be used by organizations with or without DEI personnel, with feedback solicited as informed opinions. Formal evaluations should encompass quantitative and qualitative assessments, focusing on departmental performance rather than overarching organizational rankings.  

The collective of experts and authors of the GDEIB are currently reorganizing future stewardship of the benchmarks and the website is still under construction. OHCS is using the 2021 version to support the use of the GDEIB for the OHCS DEI Agreement for Affordable Rental Housing Division development partners. OHCS has an existing user agreement that is being actively renewed for 2024. Partner use of the GDEIB falls under our agency's user agreement. If there is any change to this status you will be notified directly by OHCS.