PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Portland City Council on Tuesday heard its first round of public comment on a controversial proposal to increase affordable housing throughout the city.
The proposal would push the city council to adopt a new mandatory inclusionary zoning rule. It would require developments of 20 housing units or more to set aside 1/5 of them for low income housing in exchange for a series of financial incentives for builders.
“I think this is actually a very well thought out proposal that provides really good incentives for developers and is actually good sound public policy for Portland,” Huy Ong, a housing affordability advocate tells KOIN 6 News.
Some developers, however, oppose the inclusionary zoning. TMT Development’s Vanessa Sturgeon says the new rule may actually escalate housing prices because it may discourage builders. She also says the incentives aren’t enough and the city’s estimates of developers land costs are vastly underestimated.
City council hears more testimony next week.