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Portland City Council Increases Funding For Affordable Housing


Activists with the Welcome Home Coalition delivered postcards to Portland City Council.

Activists with the Welcome Home Coalition delivered postcards to Portland City Council.

Amelia Templeton

In a unanimous vote Wednesday, the Portland City Council increased funding for affordable housing in the city’s urban renewal areas.

The council added about $64 million to the city’s affordable housing budget over the next decade. That funding comes from a property tax set-aside.

Francia Valascez was one of the people who urged the council to act.

Through a translator, she said her family was evicted from their North Portland apartment when the building changed hands.

She and her husband were unable to find a new place they could afford to rent in her children’s school district. And so they moved in with relatives in order to keep their kids in the same school.

“It is 11 of us in a three bedroom house. It is crowded and stressful for everyone. It is scary because we could all be evicted from that house for breaking the rules with so many people there.”

The new housing funding does come with strings attached. It can only be spent on projects within the boundaries of Portland’s urban renewal areas.

So the council also directed the Housing Bureau to start researching a new source of funding that could be used city wide: a fee on new commercial and residential developments.

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story misattributed the collection of postcards delivered to Portland City Council. The postcards were collected by the Welcome Home Coalition.

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