Measure to Increase Bond Authority for Affordable Housing Headed to Ballot in Portland

Recently the Metro Council (Metro), the government for the metropolitan area of Portland, Oregon, referred a $652.8 million affordable housing bond to the November 2018 ballot. Six of Metro’s seven council members have signaled support for the proposal, intended to create thousands of new affordable housing units for the region. If approved, the measure would be the largest increase in the regional government’s authority in decades, outweighing the $258 million housing bond Portland voters approved in 2016. The impact of the increase in bond authority, however, depends on another measure headed to the ballot that would amend the state constitution to allow bond revenue to fund nongovernmental affordable housing. If the amendment is approved, the bond could create or preserve 3,900 affordable homes for up to 12,000 people. If the amendment is rejected, the bond is estimated to create or preserve 2,400 affordable homes for up to 7,500 people.

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