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PORTLAND, Ore. (Portland Tribune) — A record number of voter approved affordable housing projects opened in the region in 2022. They were funded by bond measures passed by voters in Portland and Metro, the elected regional government that serves the urbanized portions of Multnomah, Washington and Clackamas counties.
The openings show progress on constructions projects that traditionally require years of planning and negotiations with funding partners. They are intended to provide affordable housing to lower-income people and families, and permanent supportive housing services to the chronic homeless to help keep them housed.
The Portland Housing Bureau used voter-approved funds to help open five projects with 539 units capable of housing more than 1,200 people in 2022. Several can accommodate larger families. Supportive services are provided in 112 of the units. All are new construction. That number if not expected to be exceed in future years.
“What a year we’ve had!” former Portland Housing Commissioner Dan Ryan said at the end of the year. “2022 has been a landmark year for Portland’s Housing Bond, with five projects opening their doors, and one breaking ground. I have been particularly heartened to see the emphasis on family-focused housing at these new buildings — including family-sized units and on-site enrichment programs for children and youth — as well as permanent supportive housing, complete with wraparound services for our neighbors exiting chronic homelessness. Not only do these projects further our housing goals as a city, they also align with the community’s priorities for these investments.”
Mayor Ted Wheeler transferred the Portland Housing Bureau to Commissioner Carmen Rubio on Jan. 3 as part of his city bureau realignment plan.
Since Portland voters approved the $258 million bond in 2016, the bureau had previous opened only two projects, both conversions of market rate apartments. They offer 314 affordable units, none of which provide supportive services.
According to the bureau, four more projects are on track to open in 2023. They will offer 431 units, 142 of which will provide supportive services. The projects are a mix of renovations and new construction.
Three projects are on track to open in 2024. They are new construction and expected to offer 426 units, 116 of which will provide supportive services.
And one more is expected to open in 2025. It is new construction and will offer 149 units, none of which will provide supportive services.
The Portland bond originally was expected to support 1,300 units by 2023. After it was passed, Oregon voters amended the state constitution to allow governments to partner with nonprofit organizations to jointly fund affordable housing project. Since then, the bureau has increased the number of projected units to nearly 1,900, many of them suitable for large families.
The other bond is the $652.8 million measure approved by Metro voters in 2018. It was intended to create 3,900 units of affordable house throughout the three counties within the regional government’s boundaries. Unlike Portland, Metro is not responsible for building the projects itself, but distributes the bond funds to the counties and larger cities in them that construct them.
According to Metro’s website, despite the additional bureaucracy, 35 projects now have been approved in all three counties. The first three were completed in 2021. All were new construction and offer 170 units, 35 with supportive services.
The Metro-funded project kept pace with those funded by Portland’s bond in 2022 with five being completed in Forest Grove, Gresham, Rockwood, South Portland and unincorporated Clackamas County. All were new construction, offering 585 units, although none provide supportive services.
Regional building boom
With its larger amount of funding and multiple construction partners, the Metro-financed projects are set to far outpace the Portland-funded ones in 2023. Eleven Metro-backed projects are scheduled to be completed next year in Aloha, Beaverton, Cedar Mill, Cornelius, Happy Valley, Hillsboro, North Portland, Oregon City and Tigard. They are a mostly new construction and are expected to offer 973 units of affordable housing, including 187 in Portland. Eighty-four will provide supportive services, including 72 in Portland.
Twelve additional projects are expected to be completed in 2024 in Beaverton, Lake Oswego, North Portland, Northeast Portland, Southeast Portland and the Tualatin/Wilsonville expansion area. They will offer 1,130 units, 300 new and 96 preserved in Portland, with 147 of those providing supportive services.
Four projects are anticipated to be completed in 2025 in North and Northeast Portland, offering 400 new and 40 preserved units, including 19 with supportive services. And one project is anticipated in 2026 in Northeast Portland with 222 units. none with supportive services.
2022 Portland Housing Bond projects
The five projects partly funded by the Portland Affordable Housing Bond that opened in 2022 were:
• Name: Cathedral Village
Rooms: 110 (permanent supportive housing services: 8)
Location: St. Johns Neighborhood
Cost: $38 million (Portland bond: $16 million)
Developer: Related Northwest, Catholic Charities
• Name: Creston Court Apartments
Rooms: 138 (permanent supportive housing services: 7)
Location: Powellhurst-Gilbert Neighborhood
Cost: $43 million (permanent supportive housing services: $16.7 million)
Developer: Related Northwest, Central City Concern
• Name: Hayu Tilixam
Rooms: 50 (permanent supportive housing services: 9)
Location: Cully Neighborhood
Cost: $19.8 million (Portland bond: $8 million)
Developers: Community Development Partners, Native American Youth and Family Center
• Name: Las Adelitas
Rooms: 141 (permanent supportive housing services: 18)
Location: Cully Neighborhood
Cost: $58 million (Portland bond: $15 million)
Developer: Hacienda CDC
• Name: The Starlight
Rooms 100 (permanent supportive housing services: 70)
Location: Old Town/Chinatown
Cost: $33.8 million (Portland bond: $17 million)
Developer: Central City Concern
2022 Metro Housing Bond projects
The five projects partly funded by the Metro Housing Bond that opened in 2022 were:
• Name: Fuller Road Station
Location: Clackamas County
Cost: $47 million (Metro bond: $8.5 million)
Developer: Guardian and Geller Silvis & Associates
• Name: Rockwood Village
Cost: $66 million (Metro bond: $5 million)
Developer: Community Development Partners, Hacienda CDC
• Name: The Valfre at Avenida 26
Location: Forest Grove
Cost: $13.6 million (Metro bond: $3.8 million)
Developer: DCM Communities
• Name: Waterleaf
Location: South Portland
Cost: $77.9 million (Metro bond: $1.7 million)
Developer: Bridge Housing Corp.
• Name: Wynne Wyatt Commons
Cost: $45 million (Metro bond: $11.2 million)
Developer: Elden and Co., Urban League of Portland, Latino Network, El Programa Hispano, IRCO