Portland/ Real Estate & Development
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Published on June 10, 2024
Portland's Affordable Housing Crisis, Over 80,000 Units Needed for Low-Income FamiliesSource: Unsplash / Ian MacDonald

The pressing need for affordable housing in greater Portland has been underscored by a recent report from the National Low-Income Housing Coalition. The stark number revealed, almost 81,000 affordable homes are necessary for households earning at or below half of the Area Median Income — with the AMI currently pegged at $56,400 for a family of four.

Rapidly escalating rents have far outpaced income gains in the region, presenting critical challenges for a broad cross-section of the population including Black, Indigenous, and other people of color, immigrants, veterans, and people with disabilities. According to Metro, an organization that works in partnership with local governments, Portland's housing shortfall is so dire that a city equivalent could be raised to meet the need.

In an attempt to mitigate this growing crisis, Metro and local cities and counties sought community engagement in 2018 and received voter approval for a bond that would generate $652.8 million specifically for affordable housing initiatives. This significant investment aims to create a tangible impact by providing homes for approximately 14,000 individuals, 2,000 more than initially projected.

Now, in an ongoing collaborative effort with city and county partners, Metro is tasked with the responsibility to utilize the voter-approved funds to establish new affordable housing options. "When people have ample, truly affordable housing options to choose from in each neighborhood across the region, everyone benefits," a statement informed by Oregon Metro articulates the wider societal benefits envisioned by this program.