An upbeat Mayor Ted Wheeler announced that Portland has committed to exceed building more than the 1,300 affordable housing units promised to city voters.
Joined by Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury in the City Council Chambers on Tuesday, Sept. 17, Wheeler said the Portland Housing Bureau is now on track to build or preserve 1,424 units — and still has $45 million of the $258.4 million affordable housing bond left over for additional projects.
"Portland voters passed our city's first-ever affordable housing bond because, as Portlanders, we share the belief that we all deserve a healthy, safe and affordable place to live and to call home," Wheeler said of the measure approved at the November 2016 general election. "Meeting these goals and delivering on our promise to voters reflects our collective resolve and commitment to addressing the needs of Portlanders most impacted by the housing affordability crisis."
According to Wheeler, the bureau will be able to exceed the promised 1,300 units in large part because Oregon voters amended the state constitution at the November 2018 general election to allow the city to partner with non-profit and private developers on such projects. Six new projects with such partners were announced at the press conference. The City Council had previously approved six project.
The bureau also will meet or exceed other bond goals, Wheeler said, such as proving more than 600 units available to households earning less than 30% of the area median family income.
Kafoury said the county, city and the Metro regional government also have agreed to spend temporary lodging taxes traditionally dedicated to economic development activities on social services for the chronically homeless. She said the funding for such services are essential to keeping such clients permanently housed.
"You can't solve homelessness without housing," Kafoury said.
The bureau is paying all costs on the first two projects approved by the council. They are The Ellington, which cost $47 million and preserved 263 units, and the East Burnside, which cost $14.3 million and created 51 units.
The costs of the 10 remaining projects range from $16.7 million to $54 million. The bureau's shares range from $2.25 million to $18.5 million.
The 10 projects discussed Tuesday that include partners are:
• 115th at Division Street, Related NW and Central City Concern, 138 units.
• Alta at 18th, NW Housing Alternatives with NW Pilot Project and NAYA, 144 units.
• Anna Mann House, Innovative Housing Inc. with IRCO and Luke-Dorf Inc, 88 units.
• Cathedral Village, Related NW with Catholic Charities; 110 units.
• The Joyce Hotel, Community Partners for Affordable Housing with Cascadia Behavioral Healthcare and NARA, 66 units.
• Las Adelitas, Hacienda CDC with Cascadia Behavioral Healthcare, 141 units
• Northeast Prescott, Community Development Partners and NAYA with NARA, 50 units.
• Stark Street Project; Human Solutions with Lifeworks NW and IRCO; 93 units.
• The Westwind, Central City Concern with NARA, 100 units.
• 300 S.E. Powell, Home Forward, 180 units.
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