Affordable Housing: For This Community, By This Community

    Metro will be weighing an affordable housing bond on a November 2018 ballot measure. Although the regional government hasn’t exactly decided on an amount or a revenue source, a poll recently suggested that two-thirds of the region’s residents would willingly pay an extra $50 per year in taxes to help support affordable housing. 20 cents per $1,000 of assessed value is enough to cover about a $500 million bond. The idea of the housing measure first started when the cost of renting and buying homes rose. But it soon became critical when TriMet delayed a proposed bond measure to pay for transportation projects that might include money to pay for housing initiatives.

    TriMet wanted a $1.7 billion measure that would push a $13 vehicle registration fee and a new property tax assessment that would cost homeowners $150 a year. $740 million dollars raised would go directly to funding the Southwest Corridor light-rail project. This line would connect downtown Portland with Tigard and Bridgeport Village in Tualatin. With the money left over, Washington, Multnomah, and Clackamas counties as well as the city of Portland would receive it to help congestion relief and safety projects. Lawmakers decided to reject funding the Southwest Corridor project. But last November, Portland voters approved a $258.4 million housing bond. This means that property owners owe 18.4 cents per $1,000 of assessed value. The bond covered expiring city bonds, which results in no net increase in property tax bills.

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