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Bailey announces comprehensive affordable housing plan

COURTESY JULES BAILEY - Multnomah County Commissioner Jules Bailey Portand mayoral candidate Jules Bailey released a comprehensive plan for creating more affordable housing.

The plan includes the preservation of both rental and owner-occupied properties.

“Our city is at a turning point. Portlanders love our city, but we’re starting to feel that the city we love is beginning to slip through our fingers," says Bailey, who is a Multnomah County commissioner.

The housing affordability crisis has emerged as perhaps the number one issue in the Portland mayor's race. The subject has surfaced at practically every public appearance by the candidates, and dominated most of them. Many studies have found that housing costs in Portland are rising faster than practically anywhere else in the country, while incomes have not kept up with them.

In the plan, Bailey proposes to:

• Create one-day permitting for affordable infill development to reduce costs of development for responsible projects, and create more housing available for working families.

• Create a new funding source for housing to increase investment in affordable housing that is available for people with the lowest incomes.

• Create pathways to home ownership both for traditional housing and co-op style models of multifamily housing so that the working class can build wealth.

• Establish a Community Preservation Program to keep long time residents in their communities and bring those that have been displaced back to their neighborhoods.

• Bring back neighborhood-scale density like duplexes, triplexes, and garden-style apartments that are currently prohibited.

• Enact “inclusionary zoning” as permitted by state law so that affordable housing is integrated throughout the city, not pushed to the edges.

• Accelerate the process of identifying surplus public lands and dedicating them for affordable housing.

• Work with County and Metro to purchase and set aside land along soon-to-be developed "transit corridors" for affordable housing, before speculation drives prices sky high.

• Conduct rigorous oversight of urban renewal areas to ensure that displacement doesn't happen.

Some of the ideas have also been proposed by other candidates in the mayors race, too, including State Treasurer Ted Wheeler and First Stop Portland assistant director Sarah Iannarone as recently as Monday's night's mayoral debate. A Portland Tribune story on the debate can be read at portlandtribune.com/pt/9-news/295682-173160-eight-of-12-mayoral-candidates-face-off-in-revived-debate.