This November, residents of the Portland Metro Area—which includes cities in Washington, Multnomah, and Clackamas Counties—will find two separate measures on their ballot related to affordable housing. While Measure 102 and the Metro housing bond will each be voted on separately, they are most efficient and impactful when implemented together. Measure 102 is an amendment to Oregon’s constitution that would allow housing bonds and other affordable housing funds that come from the government to be used by private (usually) nonprofit affordable housing developers. Without this amendment, all affordable housing funded through bonds has to be built and owned by the government. The thinking behind Measure 102 is that nonprofit developers are better equipped and able to build, maintain, and operate[…]

Affordable housing touches on just about everything a city government does. That’s why it’s so complicated. Which brings me to last week’s city council meeting. Your city council attended an hour and a half work session on homelessness. City employees outlined the history of the problem and how it’s growing here in Hillsboro. The chief of police talked about how officers are approaching the issue. A couple of homeless individuals told heart breaking stories of falling through the cracks in our society. It was a comprehensive overview of the problem, from a variety of perspectives. And it was followed by a great example of why it’s so hard to do anything about it. City Council voted on what is essentially[…]