Portland City Council approves housing bond spending plan

The city of Portland has already acquired the Ellington Apartments using 15 percent of the voter-approved housing bond. (KATU Photo)

Portland city commissioners have approved a framework that will allow the city to decide how to spend money approved by voters last year for housing.

Voters passed the more than $258 million bond last November. The goal was to create or obtain 1,300 housing units.

Fifteen percent of that bond already helped the city acquire the Ellington Apartments in Northeast. The complex has 263 units.

On Wednesday, commissioners approved guidelines that establish a policy framework that will allow them to accept funding proposals. That process is expected to start later this month.

According to Mayor Ted Wheeler’s office, the framework includes goals, accountability measures and “community priorities that will inform the location and other selection criteria for bond-funded housing.”

The mayor’s office said almost 1,000 people provided input into the development of the framework, which was finalized by an 18-member advisory group.

The plan sets out the goal for the 1,300 affordable housing units to include 600 units for very low-income households and 650 for families.

Three hundred units for supportive housing are also planned. But those units are dependent on outside funding.

“Portland’s Housing Bond is a historic opportunity to stabilize families and mitigate displacement,” Wheeler said in a news release. “This is the community’s bond, so we took the time necessary for a deliberate and thoughtful community process to get it right. The result is better because of it.”

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