Duke, Teske and Valliere: County needs regional answers to housing
It is encouraging news that all five Washington County commissioners agree that there is a need for action to address the housing crisis, even if there are differences of opinion on how to move forward.
As executive directors of organizations dedicated to addressing this housing crisis in Washington County, we are excited about the opportunity to support a regional approach. A regional approach means every community is a part of the solution to our housing needs — we all step up together. Working regionally makes it possible to address the housing needs of families where families have the most support — their local community. A regional approach will also create housing that can be near jobs.
The proposed Metro regional housing bond will be a platform to achieving many of these goals, and we agree with the Washington County board that the proposal, as it is further developed, should include clarity on how funds will be distributed between the three counties in the region.
We build beautiful, safe and affordable housing at a time when the market is unable to create new housing for low- and moderate-income families, seniors and vulnerable community members. This is not housing that is an eyesore in the neighborhood, but rather quality community assets that will be maintained long-term. We rely on the leadership and funding efforts of our elected officials, along with taxpayers and our donors. The Washington County Board of Commissioners has been providing valuable support for this work, and the regional bond will provide an opportunity for the county to add to their significant track record.
A regional approach is a tremendous step forward.
Rachael Duke is executive director of Community Partners for Affordable Housing, based in Southwest Portland. Nathan Teske is executive director of Bienestar, based in Hillsboro. Daniel Valliere is chief executive officer of REACH Community Development Inc., based in Southwest Portland. All three groups are nonprofit organizations that provide affordable housing.
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