City of Portland proposes $67M for affordable housing

Charlie Hales unveils plan for increased subsidies for fastest-gentrifying neighborhoods.

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Portland Mayor Charlie Hales has unveiled a plan for increased affordable housing subsidies for the city’s fastest-gentrifying neighborhoods.

He wants $67 million over the next 10 years for the Pearl District as well as North and Northeast Portland, among others.

Officials would meet the obligation by increasing the percentage of money spent on affordable housing within city-designated urban renewal districts, boosting the share from 30 percent to 45 percent.

The spending plan heads to the City Council on Wednesday, with approval expected the following week.

Portland’s financial commitment comes less than three months after affordable-housing advocates blasted the city’s long-term spending priorities and demanded more money to subsidize apartments for low-income Portlanders. And it follows this month’s “housing emergency” declaration and a $20 million pledge to combat homelessness.


“We have great projects in various stages of planning, in each district,” Hales said a news release. “But we are in a housing crisis. Given that, we have scrubbed each URA in detail, looking at both opportunities and costs, in an effort to direct money toward affordable housing while maintaining projects to enhance jobs, livability and equity.”

According to an announcement, the $66.7 million would come in the form of tax increment financing in five URAs: Gateway, Interstate, Lents, North Macadam and the River District. At present, 30 percent of the TIF in those areas is set aside for affordable housing; under the plan devised by Hales and Commissioner Dan Saltzman, that percentage would be boosted to 45 percent.

Two other plans already approved by the city council, the Old Town Chinatown Five-Year Action Plan in the River District and the Lents Action Plan, would not be impacted by the changes.

(SOURCE: Portland Business Journal)

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