SALEM, Ore.-- Finding affordable housing can be a challenge in Oregon. Some people believe changes to how Oregon funds housing projects could help change that.
Currently, governments in Oregon are not allowed to partner with a private business on construction projects funded by general obligation bonds. This means a city or county is require to be the sole owner of any projects using bond funds.
Measure 102 would change that.
The measure would make it easier for local governments to work with partners to build and preserve homes that are affordable.
The partnerships could allow public bond dollars to go much further. Cities or counties could use bond revenue to fund construction of affordable housing without having to retain complete ownership.
Voters would need to approve the use of the bonds and there would be certain restrictions.
"If we were to issue those bonds for the purpose of creating housing, our ability to partner would more than likely mean we can get more units out of that. So every unit that we put in the ground. Every family that we're able to serve has some affect on the very large housing deficit that we're facing right now," said Oregon State Representative District 5-Ashland Pam Marsh.
Affordable Housing Partners, Oregon Food Bank, Habitat for Humanity Oregon, and Oregon Nurses Association are just some of the many organizations that have come out in support of the measure.
In a statement, the Habitat for Humanity Oregon said, “The amendment would lift the current ban on the ability of local governments to work with nonprofits and local businesses to build affordable housing with bonds. This small change means local housing bond dollars can go farther, helping communities address the need for homes that people can afford."
According to ballotpedia.org, the Bike Party is the only organization to oppose the measure.
Measure 102 was introduced by the Portland City Hall to allow the city to use its affordable housing bonds in combination with certain money provided by the federal government.