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Portland Surpassing Its Housing Bond Targets

Three years after passing a $256 million housing bond, city officials in Portland, Oregon, report that over 1,400 units of affordable housing will result from planned and completed projects.
September 30, 2019, 10am PDT | Camille Fink
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Officials in Portland, Oregon, recently announced six new affordable housing projects that will be funded through the housing bond that voters approved in 2016. "Mayor Ted Wheeler hailed the progress as having exceeded the goals laid out to voters when the bond was first approved nearly three years ago — and another $45 million remains available for future projects," writes Elliot Njus.

The city has shifted its strategy in that time as well, writes Njus. "Rather than building or buying its own buildings to operate as public housing and carrying full freight, Portland is now helping fund projects by private developers, many of which brought other funding to the table."

The city is also focusing more on new construction projects rather than purchasing and converting buildings to affordable housing. In addition, working with private affordable housing developers has allowed the Portland Housing Bureau to provide funding to a number of projects that were facing significant funding gaps, and this funding will allow the projects to move along more quickly, notes Njus.

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Published on Tuesday, September 17, 2019 in The Oregonian
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