LWVPDX Supports Portland’s Affordable Housing Bond

Urges Members to Aid the Effort

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Portland City Council unanimously voted to refer a $258.4 million affordable housing bond measure to Portland voters in November. The League of Women Voters of Portland supports the measure and urges members to make every effort to help pass it.

If passed, the bond proceeds will be used to build or acquire 1,300 affordable housing units in Portland, providing desperately needed homes for about 2,900 people. The bonds will be issued over five to seven years.

All units will be affordable to households earning below 60 percent median family income, $43,980 for a family of four. Of the 1,300 total units, 600 will be for households earning less than 30 percent of median family income: $22,000 for a family of four or $15,400 for a single person household. This category of extremely low income is a significant concern for the League. These units are the most difficult to finance and develop and where the greatest need exists. The firm commitment for 600 units at this income level is an important feature of this proposal. These are the units needed to house families and individuals living on Portland’s streets.

The cost to a homeowner will be $75 per year on a home assessed at $178,230, the average assessed value in Portland (remember there is a difference between assessed and real market value). This is $.4208/$1,000 of assessed value. If the bond passes, it will be an important first step in meeting the city’s need for affordable housing. Portlanders, including working parents, seniors, veterans, and people with disabilities should be able to afford housing and still have the money they need to pay for other necessities like groceries, transportation, and medical care.