Developers Fail to Meet Affordable Housing Quota in Portland's Pearl District

Despite a contractual obligation, Hoyt Street Properties under-built 258 affordable housing units in Portland's Pearl District. The city has to react.
August 24, 2014, 11am PDT | Maayan Dembo | @DJ_Mayjahn
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Portland's Pearl District brought promise of housing Portlanders of all incomes in its 34 acre transformative development. A major developer in the district, Hoyt Street Properties, churned out nearly 2,000 apartments and condos within 17 years. So far though, only 30 percent (and not 35 percent) of the units are classified as affordable housing, and with the building of another three complexes in the pipeline, that number will be reduced to 28 percent.

As reported by Brad Schmidt of The Oregonian, despite "knowing for months about the shortfall and a quickly approaching Sept. 8 deadline to exercise its purchase option, officials with the city have taken no documented steps to force Hoyt Street to sell land for modestly priced housing."

Schmidt spoke with Traci Manning, director of the Portland Housing Bureau, who said that the city is working to get the "best information" before deciding how to react. She said regardless of how Hoyt Street's affordability record is measured, "it will be close to target."

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