Portland church answers call for affordable housing

The housing should save people a couple hundred dollars

The University Park United Methodist Church in North Portland. (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — As the cost of living in Portland continues to skyrocket, affordable housing is out of reach for many people.

In this housing crisis, the people at University Park United Methodist Church in North Portland are taking matters into their own hands.

For Pastor Andy Goebel, it’s not enough to just preach scripture. He says their mission is to “do justice, love, mercy and walk humbly with God.”

The church plans to build new, affordable housing for dozens of families.

In the University Park area, an apartment that would have cost $600 just 2 or 3 years ago will now cost about $900.

“We have homeless friends whose names and faces we know,” Goebel said.

The church estimates rent at the affordable housing complex would save people at least a couple hundred dollars.

Because the church owns the land, secures the loans and builds the housing without government involvement, it could move pretty quickly. Storage and pastor offices will go to make room for more construction.

“In order to do justice there are some really systemic things that we need to be a part of,” Goebel said. “Obviously affordable housing is a huge issue in this city and they took huge steps to try to help.”

The goal is to get a roof over people’s heads that won’t cost them more than they can afford.

“Every little bit is going to help,” Goebel said. “And we know that the need is great and we can’t take care of all of it but that doesn’t mean we should do nothing or just wait for someone else to come along and take care of the whole thing.”

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