Home Builders Association of Metropolitan Portland Case Study


In the late 1990s, the Portland, Oregon, metropolitan area experienced explosive growth. Its population was nearing 1.4 million and regional planners projected the population would expand by 650,000 in the 20 years to come. Confined by the region’s unique Urban Growth Boundary (UGB), housing prices spiraled, treasured open spaces within the UGB were targeted for development and traffic worsened.


Dan and his team helped the Home Builders Association of Metropolitan Portland establish and strengthen its relationship with a number of key communities, including realtors, first-time homebuyers and local public officials.

Using an aggressive strategy that included direct mail, speaking engagements and proactive media relations, they launched a grassroots campaign to engage people priced out of the housing market and repositioned the UGB expansion issue from being about environmental preservations to being about housing affordability.


The communications program succeeded in raising public awareness of the tradeoffs associated with the UGB, increased public support for expanding the Boundary and Persuaded the regional government, Metro, to approve the first UGB expansion wince it was established in 1979.

Additionally, the campaign was recognized with numerous public relations awards, including the PRSA Bronze Anvil Award of Commendation and the Creativity in Public Relations Award of Excellence.