Why do we have an housing affordability crisis?
This chart tells the story very clearly. For families with incomes below 50% Median Family Income (about $35,000 for a family of 4) the Portland metro area is short more than 63,000 affordable rental options. For every 5 ‘very and extremely low-income’ families, there are only 2 affordable housing units. Where do the other 3 families live? The drastic shortage of affordable housing options is the reason kids get bounced around to different schools with every rent increase. It is the reason too many of our aging parents can’t afford basic needs like medication and groceries. This explains why families live at risk of homelessness every month trying to make ends meet when the rent is too high. When families don’t have access to housing they can afford, everything comes undone.
In the summer of 2015, we conducted public research to understand Multnomah County resident’s support for affordable housing. We learned that voters are very concerned about the growing cost of housing, the lack of affordable housing and the rise of homelessness. Voters are looking to local governments to act with revenue and policy solutions and are willing to check “Yes” on their ballots for more affordable homes. We are continue to research policy and public support to build successful campaigns for affordable housing. You can help by using these key messages with your colleagues, family and community! Be a leader and advocate with Welcome Home!
Welcome Home’s Revenue Survey
We conducted a nationwide survey of revenue strategies locally funding affordable housing to produce this Welcome Home Revenue Tools Report. Cities, counties and regional governments across the country are raising millions annually for housing with document recording fees and real estate transfer taxes, linkage and developer impact fees, restaurant and hotel taxes, and local property tax levies. How will the Portland Metro Region decide to invest in our affordable housing and services infrastructure? Read the report and join in on this important community conversation.
Housing Trust Fund Projects
There are more than 700 housing funds that dedicate resources to build, preserve and ensure affordable housing throughout the country. Here are a few examples of revenue tools other local governments are using that would also work to fund a Portland Metro region Housing Trust Fund: GO Bonds, Dining Taxes, Developer Impact Fees and a Property Tax Levy.
Every year across the US new funds are created and more revenue is dedicated to expand housing opportunity. The Housing Trust Fund Project tracks these community organizing and local advocacy efforts nationwide. Learn more about these innovative strategies and get inspired by these housing victories.