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Changes could still happen by the time the Metro Council decides to refer the measure to the November 2018 general election ballot

COURTESY METRO - Members of a Metro advisory committee working on the proposed affordable housing bond in February.Metro is now considering asking voters to approve a regional $516.5 million affordable housing bond at the November 2018 general election.

It would appear on the same ballot as a proposed amendment to the Oregon Constitution that would ease restrictions on how such funds are spent.

If the amendment does not pass, Metro estimates its measure would preserve or create 2,000 affordable homes that would serve 6,000 people. If the amendment passes, the measure would fund 3,200 homes that would serve 10,000 people.

The amendment would allow Metro to partner with private businesses on bond-funded affordable houses projects, which is why the number would be larger if it passes.

Metro's measure would cost the average homeowner around $50 a year. As currently envision, most of the funds would be distributed to the three counties within the regional government's jurisdiction based on their assessed property values. Under this formula, 45 percent of the homes would be built in Multnomah County, 34 percent would be built in Washington County, and 21 percent would be built in Clackamas County.

All of the homes would be affordable to households earning below 80 percent of the area's median family income (MFI). Forty-five percent would be reserved for families earning below 30 percent of the MFI.

People prioritized for the units include those least-served by the current housing market, such as communities of color, veterans, and those at risk of homelessness.

Ten percent of the funds would be used to purchase land for affordable housing projects near transit centers, and 7 percent would be available for administration.

The proposed framework for the measure was presented to a technical advisory committee that has been working on it on Thursday. It will be appointed to a stakeholder committee advising Metro on Wednesday. Presentations are planned before the Clackamas and Washington county commission, as well as before several city council's in the region.

The two advisory committees will meet again to consider revisions to the proposed measure before it is finalized by the end of May. The Metro Council is expected to vote whether to refer it to the ballot on June 7.

To read a previous story on the issue, visit

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