Innovative Housing Solutions
Let's take a compassionate Housing First appraoch to helping our houseless neighbors get off the street and into transitional housing where they can stableize and address related and collateral issues.
Prevent houselessness by keeping people housed with rental & mortage assistance
Slow market pressures that contribute to rapid increases in home prices and rents
Expand range of available and affordable housing
Pursue Housing First for the chronically houseless so they can address related issues
Create new funding opportunities to finance a broader spectrum of housing
Stop treating houselessness like a crime
Charter a Public Bank with a mission to support more affordable housing
Expand Rent & Mortgage Assistance through this Crisis
We must move quickly to keep homeowners and tenants in their homes so that we do not worsen the current housing crisis. To do that, we must increase funding to rental assistance and provide funding for mortgage assistance to help Portlanders get through the current crisis with their current homes and living situations intact.
Get Creative to Solve Houselessness & Housing Affordability
Portland is a wonderful place to live, but we have work to do. There are over 15,000 people experiencing houselessness in Portland, a population larger than most Oregon towns. We need to get innovative around resolving houselessness and addressing housing affordability. These are not two different issues. We need affordable housing for all Portlanders.
Take a Compassionate Housing First Approach to Houselessness
We must end the practice of "sweeps," and stop effectively criminalize houselessness. We should stop sending police to deal with the health and social welfare needs of the houseless. Implementing a crime enforcement response only worsens a bad situation. In addition to addressing the health and safety needs of the unhoused, we should implement humane approaches to addressing street-related issues of our houseless neighbors, through programs such as Portland Street Response.
With Concordia University's closure, the city should immediately look into acquiring the campus for a mid-northeast community center and large housing-first project. Housing pods with shared common areas, secured personal sleeping nooks and health and other services to meet the immediate health and safety needs of our fellow community members who are currently living on our streets.
Focus on housing affordability
To encourage greater housing affordability, we need a variety of housing solutions, from residentials co-ops, and co-housing to other forms of group living, intergenerational living arrangements, ADUs, SROs, tiny home communities, housing pods, smallplexes, cottage clusters, and small-to-moderate-sized apartment complexes. We should also revise zoning to allow more plexes and smaller apartments and townhomes to meet the need for greater housing availability and variety. And we should repeal laws that currently discourage communal households. Cooperative living arrangements should be encouraged. Additionally, the city should allow for first-right-of-return for individuals whose families were removed from their homes by past racist zoning and development practices.
Slow upward market pressure on housing prices and rents
The 2009 Housing Crash saw a shift to more foreclosures and a scramble to purchase homes for speculative purposes to build wealth and generate income. The city and state can take steps to slow this process and remove incentives to bid up housing costs and subsequently have to raise rents to pay for spiraling home costs.
Implement Community-Benefit Financing for Homeowners through a Public Bank
In today’s lending environment, it’s impossible for community households to get residential financing for their homes. We need to change that. Since for-profit banks won't lend on many non-traditional housing approaches, we should create a public bank with a mission to provide secured low-interest loans for traditional and alternative housing like residential co-ops, multi-family and multi-generational housing, ADUs, SROs, and other housing options.
A public bank could also provide refinances for homeowners who corporate banks refuse to refinance even though they are lowering their payments. And a public bank could administer restorative lending to fund stay-in-place and first-right-of-return programs serving historically red-lined communities in order to give people from traditionally marginalized communities a chance to acquire homeownership in ancestral homes and neighborhoods.
A public bank could also serve the unserved needs of small businesses and cooperatives, as well as administer loans for large municipal projects, directions millions of dollars in interest back into programs designed to serve community priorities like housing affordability. Go here for more about establishing a public bank.
Innovative Housing Solutions
Real solutions for today's challenges
I believe in what Portland can be.