Bond measure could help create affordable housing

The the measure asks Portland homeowners to pay about $75 a year

A peace shelter currently housing Portland's homeless will be shut down in July. (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Portland homeowners will vote next month on whether to help pay for permanent housing for more than 1,000 people.

Measure 26-179 is a bond measure on the November ballot which asks Portland homeowners to pay about $75 a year in taxes on a home assessed just under $200,000.

Thomas Thompson and his family have been living at a family homeless shelter in Southeast Portland for several months. He said despite how hard he and his wife have been working, they can’t afford a home for themselves and their 3 kids.

The Thompsons are just one of hundreds of families who could find themselves with an affordable apartment if measure 26-0179 is approved.

It would raise about $260 million over 20 years for the city to buy land and build at least 1,300 apartment units. It will cost the city almost $200,000 each.

Under state laws, the city says it can’t share the cost of a bond project. At least one private developer built low income housing in Portland for half that price per unit.

Some critics say the bond doesn’t offer a real solution to the affordable housing crisis, but those in favor of the bond say with thousands of Portlanders, many with kids, living on the streets or in shelters the $75 a year will give them a permanent home within the next few years.