Two ballot measures attempting to address Portland area’s housing crisis

(KPTV image)

PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) – On the November ballot, Portland-area voters will find two measures attempting to address the area’s housing crisis.

If approved by voters, Measure 102 and Measure 26-199 would theoretically work together to increase the area’s supply of affordable housing.

Dan Valliere, CEO of REACH Community Development, a nonprofit that has developed more than 2,000 units of affordable housing in Portland and Clark County, supports Measure 102, which would change the state constitution to allow local governments to use bond money in partnerships with private business and nonprofits to build affordable housing.

“A private entity like a nonprofit, which has a mission to do it, could borrow money from a bank or from another private source and combine that with the public bonding, or we could go for federal tax credits, low-income housing tax credits,” said Valliere.

Valliere and other supporters believe the passage of Measure 102 would maximize the impact of Measure 26-199, the Metro bond that would generate more than $650 million to build affordable housing in the Portland metro area, which would be paid for by an increase in property taxes.

Metro estimates the bond would cost the average homeowner about $5 per month, but opponents say that figure is just an estimate, and that the actual cost to taxpayers will vary depending on interest rates.

Opponents estimate repaying the bond, plus interest, could create more than $1 billion in new property taxes, and have pointed out that Metro, a regional government, has no experience building affordable housing.

Supporters like Valliere, meanwhile, believe the measure is a worthwhile investment, which should create close to 12,000 additional units of affordable housing.

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