- Question: What is the Portland affordable housing bond?
- Question: What does Measure 26-179—the affordable housing bond—do?
- Question: Who will the housing bond serve?
- Question: How many people are in need of housing in our community?
- Question: Will this solve homelessness, and end the housing crisis?
Voters have a chance to approve a historic investment in affordable housing on the ballot this November. It will raise $258.4 million over 20 years, beginning in 2017, to aquire and build affordable housing in Portland. The bond will cost about $75 per year, or $6.25 per month, for the owner of a home assessed at $178,230 (the average assessed value for Portland). This is $.4208/$1,000 of assessed value.
The affordable housing bond will create new affordable homes for 2,900 Portlanders, with at least 1,300 high quality affordable apartment homes. These new homes will be for many of the most vulnerable low income people in our city: Families with children, seniors, people with disabilities, and veterans. The housing built by the Bond must remain permanently affordable, providing affordable homes for tens of thousands of households over the life of the housing.
Most of bond funding is dedicated for extremely low-income people who are homeless or living on fixed incomes, including seniors and people with disabilities. 600 units will be for people in households that earn less than 30% of the median family income (about minimum wage). For a family of 4, that is $25,300 a year or $17,700 for a single person. The remaining units provide rental housing to people working in low or moderate wage jobs. A Community Oversight Committee will monitor the bond program to ensure low-income households continue to be served in Bond funded apartments.
Over 31,000 Portland renter households, more than 1 in 4, currently pay more than half their monthly income for rent. This leaves very little money for these families to feed their children or cover medical expenses. In addition, there are about 4,000 homeless people sleeping on the streets or in shelters on any given night. In Portland, about 900 K-12 students experience homelessness during the school year, living in shelters, on the street, in a vehicle, or in a hotel or motel, according to the most recent data. Another 1,500 students share housing with extended family or friends, due to economic hardship.
This is just our first opportunity for the general public to approve affordable housing as a community wide value and Welcome Home intends to continue building region wide support towards future policies and funding tools. The surest way to alleviate pressure in our communities and create space in our shelters is to help people quickly and permanently into affordable housing. When we have sufficient affordable housing supply, we make sure our emergency shelters are available for those in an emergency, not an endless waiting room for those who simply need affordable housing.