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Building Affordable Housing In Portland Not So Affordable


Portland City Council on Wednesday, June 13, 2018, will consider buying this nearly finished apartment building for $14.3 million with affordable housing bond funds.

Portland City Council on Wednesday, June 13, 2018, will consider buying this nearly finished apartment building for $14.3 million with affordable housing bond funds.

Jonathan House/Portland Tribune

The high cost of creating publicly supported affordable housing projects in Portland came into sharper focus over the past week.

On June 1, Oregon Housing and Community Services announced it was recommending grants to nine affordable housing projects in different parts of the state. The state agency that helps fund such projects said the most expensive ones were in Portland. According to the announcement, the costliest was the North Williams Apartments, which is being developed by Bridge Housing for $387,468 per unit. The cheapest outside of Portland was the Claxter Crossing Apartments, being built in Salem by North River Development, which will cost $121,520 per unit.

Then on June 5, Mayor Ted Wheeler unveiled the first new apartments being purchased with the city’s affordable housing bond. The building nearing completion at 105th Avenue and East Burnside Street will cost $275,000 per unit. The City Council is expected to approve spending $14.3 million of the voter-approved $258.4 million bond on it this Wednesday.

And on June 7, the Metro Council referred a $652.8 million affordable housing bond to the November general election ballot. The regional government estimates the cost of the new projects it will finance at $253,186 per unit. Preservation and renovation of existing housing are estimated at $225,180 per unit.

Read the whole story at Pamplin Media.

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