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Oregon Centralized Application (ORCA)

The Oregon Centralized Application (ORCA) offers loans, grants, and tax credit funds to develop affordable housing throughout Oregon.

It is the process through which sponsors and developers who want to build affordable housing in Oregon must go through to receive funding from Oregon Housing and Community Service programs. ORCA replaces the old Notice of Funding Availabilities (NOFA) process.

ORCA will allocate funds on a first-ready, first-reviewed basis to ensure project readiness. Intake is the point of entry. After Intake, sponsors will be able to submit an Oregon Centralized Application for funding. 

The ORCA process involves three steps:

  1. Impact Assessment
  2. Financial Eligibility
  3. Commitment

These steps will ensure a project is ready to financially close within six months of the funding award. 

Read the full ORCA manual

The timeline for how quickly a project can move through these steps is based on project readiness and can be flexible according to the unique needs of the project. There are evaluation standards at each step. Once a project meets these evaluation standards, they can move on to the next step of the process. Applicants may submit a project at any time through Intake. This is not a prescribed timeline for a project, and some projects will move forward quickly while others may take longer. A project can move quickly through ORCA if it's already completed all due diligence and construction planning. 

ORCA is not a competitive process, nor will there be points. Rather, OHCS will work with you to help your development project meet benchmarks and standards so that it gets the funding it needs to build the housing needed within each community.

ORCA is based on the following values:

  • Maximize resources for housing production: The critical need for housing demands maximizing all possible resources for building or securing affordable rental housing.
  • Center equity and racial justice: Funding resources must both serve tenants equitably and support development by supporting Black, Indigenous, and People of Color-led organizations. There are funding set-asides to ensure culturally specific organizations and Tribal Nations have dedicated pathways to access resources.
  • Serve the whole state: Affordable housing should be developed in communities across the state. There are funding set-asides available to ensure rural communities have dedicated pathways to access resources.
  • Center tenants in building design and funding strategies: Tenant’s needs are centered when delivering resources and partnerships with local nonprofits and housing authorities are valued.
  • Predictable and available resources: OHCS must expedite resource delivery with clear offerings and flexible funding that supports projects that are ready to move forward.