PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — On Tuesday afternoon, the Portland Housing Bureau released its Housing Bond 2022 Progress Report, which shows that the bureau will surpass its previously established goal to build 1,300 permanently affordable homes throughout the city.
The bond, approved by voters in November 2016, is the city’s first housing bond. It originally aimed to allocate $258.4 million to Portland’s affordable housing crisis by the turn of 2024.
With 1,859 housing units either currently open or in development, the Housing Bureau has exceeded its goal by 43%. And according to the latest report, the allocated funding was fully distributed across the 15 bond projects when the final three were announced in February 2022.
The report says that seven bond-funded properties have opened since 2016, and are now housing 1,940 Portlanders. PHB began construction on eight additional properties last December, and four of those are expected to open in 2023.
Overall, the Housing Bureau expects the new units to provide shelter for more than 4000 Portlanders.
“As our city wrestles with a monumental housing crisis, the effects of which we see and
feel every day on our streets and in our pocketbooks, Portland’s first voter-approved
housing bond has been a beacon of hope — and a testament to what we can achieve
when we come together as a community to support one another,” Carmen Rubio, the city commissioner who oversees the Housing Bureau, said in a statement.
Rubio also highlighted the work of PHB’s development partners that focused on racial equity in the bond projects. According to the commissioner, almost all of the projects partnered with ‘culturally-specific service providers’ to ensure that Portlanders of color also benefitted from the housing bond.
Those development partners include local organizations such as the Black Parent Initiative, Centro Cultural and the Native American Youth and Family Center.
Along with Black and Indigenous groups, the Housing Bond lists other priority communities as families with children, immigrant and refugee communities, intergenerational households, households experiencing or at risk of homelessness, and households facing displacement.