Officials Support ANY Size Metro Housing Bond with NO DATA?

I asked Oregon Governor Kate Brown, all state legislators*1, and Metro councilors, as well as elected county and city officials within the Metro catchment area, if they would endorse up to a Metro proposed trillion dollar Property Tax Bond increase for public housing without Data, a Strategy and Accountability on the November 2018 ballot.

All 254 (see list below*2) indicated that they would support any size Metro Housing Bond and the following inextricably tied status quo housing policies (see immediately below items A – E).

Of course Metro isn’t proposing a TRILLION $ Property Tax Bond. But would it change the fact that Metro would NOT have the Public Housing Statistical Data, nor a justifiable strategy nor accountability even if the price tag is a mere BILLION $ *3 ? NO.

Metro follows the Public Housing *4 policy positions held and executed by Portland’s mayor, Ted Wheeler, which are:

A. Targeted, UNLIMITED Neighborhood Concentration of Public Housing, which allows Wheeler to load the neighborhoods of his choice with up to 100 percent Public Housing clients.

For example, my Portsmouth neighborhood has more than 30 percent Public Housing Clients, and Wheeler is adding more. By contrast, Ted Wheeler’s neighborhood has ZERO Public Housing Clients. This is in direct contravention to recent court rulings upholding the Fair Housing Act of 1968, which requires Equitable Distribution of Public Housing.

B. Wheeler refuses to make public meaningful, accurate, complete and timely Public Housing Statistical Data *5 in order to maintain his policy of NIMBY Favoritism and Economic Segregation.

Without meaningful, accurate, complete and timely Public Housing Statistical Data *5 there can NOT be justifiable housing goals based on inventory and need by economic constituency and neighborhood location.Without justifiable goals there can NOT be a defensible strategy to achieve those goals.Without a defensible strategy there can NOT be valid metrics to assess the progress of that strategy.Without valid metrics there is NO ACCOUNTABILITY.Without Accountability Portland’s mayor Wheeler and Metro will continue to make Public Housing policy decisions based on self-inflicted ignorance, political convenience and extortion.

C. Wheeler refuses to establish a 5 percent minimum and a 15 percent maximum Public Housing GOAL for every neighborhood in Multnomah county.

D. Wheeler refuses to opt-in to SAFMR, HUD’s Small Area Fair Market Rents program, which redistributes Section 8 voucher amounts to promote their use in more upscale neighborhoods, like Wheeler’s, and reduce concentration in low income neighborhoods.

E. Wheeler refuses to refund a portion of Portland’s new 258 million dollar bond property tax increase to those households that qualify for Public Housing i.e. <=80 percent MFI.

Metro is refusing to refund a portion of its proposed Public Housing bond property tax increase to those households that qualify for Public Housing i.e. <=80 percent MFI.

Following Portland’s unsuccessful process, Metro has created a 32-member stakeholder (i.e. people who make a living in this arena) advisory committee *6charged with developing the values that will govern spending of the bond funds. This group has already decided that "racial equity" (this is code for racial pandering) should be the top priority.

NO. NO. NO. Just like the Portland housing bond advisory group these folks have failed before they have begun.

EQUITABLE DISTRIBUTION based on HOUSEHOLD INCOME and LOCATION is the ONLY DEFENSIBLE VALUE that must be considered when determining PUBLIC HOUSING Policy. A person’s skin color or ethnic heritage should have NOTHING to do with Public Housing accessibility or neighborhood placement.

Metro has very little experience, if any, developing Public Housing. Metro is very unlikely to be able to say exactly HOW, WHERE and WHY the money will be spent during the campaign to pass it.

The massive bond will manifest a Major Metro Mission Creep. To date Metro has provided NO EVIDENCE that it is capable of handling its self-proclaimed new political purpose.

If Metro wants to expand is political portfolio into the Public Housing arena it MUST first do ALL of the following:

A. Demonstrate that is knows the difference between PUBLIC *4 and AFFORDABLE *7 housing.

B. Take control of the Public Housing Authorities of Multnomah, Clackamas and Washington counties and consolidate them into the Metro Regional Public Housing Authority.

D. Agree to return a portion of any housing or other bonds that increase property taxes to all households that qualify for Public Housing i.e. <=80 percent MFI.

If Metro does ALL of these then its mission creep will be justified.

Metro is also planning to place a $1.7 BILLION Property Tax measure on the November 2020 ballot to help support the new MAX line proposed for the Southwest Corridor between Portland, Tigard and Tualatin. *6

If the purpose of this exercise is to keep low-income/Public Housing qualified home owners from being driven out and prevent low-income/Public Housing qualified renters from being priced out of their living spaces then we must STOP INCREASING PROPERTY TAXES ON THESE PEOPLE.

North Portland political activist for 42 years.

Author of more stories on the politics, players and policies of Public Housing in Oregon over the last seventeen years than all other journalists and elected officials combined.

Author of The Ellmyer Report, a newsletter that informs, educates and influences on public policy. Occasionally distributed to more than a quarter of million readers in Oregon and beyond. Facebook, Portland Politics Plus . Contributor: Patch news

Dear reader, if you choose to contact, challenge and convince any of these elected officials that support for mayor Wheeler’s Public Housing policies is counterproductive then please let me know. Thank you.


*1 I have included governor Brown and all our state legislators in this survey because they are politically concerned and connected to Public Housing policy, funding and legislation. Their views on Metro’s mission creep, the size of the proposed Public Housing bond and the underlying policies that will drive the spending are important regardless of which districts in Oregon they represent.

Metro Councilors: Sam Chase (, Carlotta Collette (, Shirley Craddick (, Craig Dirksen (, Kathryn Harrington (, Tom Hughes (, Bob Stacey (

County Commissioners

Multnomah: Deborah Kafoury (, Sharon Meieran (, Loretta Smith (, Lori Stegmann (, Jessica Vega Pederson (

Washington: Dick Schouten (, Andy Duyck (, Roy Rogers (, Greg Malinowski (, Bob Terry (

Clackamas: Ken Humberston (, Ken Humberston (, Jim Bernard (, Martha Schrader (, Paul Savas (

City Councils – Multnomah County

Portland: Chloe Eudaly (, Nick Fish (, Amanda Fritz (, Dan Saltzman (, Ted Wheeler (

Gresham: Karylinn Echols (, Kirk French (, Shane Bemis (, Mario Palmero (, Jerry Hinton (, David Widmark (, Janine Gladfelter (

Fairview: Lisa Barton Mullins (, Brian Cooper (, Cathi Forsythe (, Keith Kudrna (, Ted Tosterud (, Natile Voruz (, Mike Weatherby (

Wood Village: Mark Clark (, Timothy Clark (, Scott Harden (, Bruce Nissen (, Patricia Smith (

Maywood Park: Matthew Castor (, Jim Akers (, Art Winslow (, Mark Hardie (, Dave Snodgrass (

City Councils – Washington County

Beaverton: Marc San Soucie (, Catherine Arnold (, Betty Bode (, Denny Doyle (, Lacey Beaty (, Mark Fagin (

Hillsboro: Olivia Alcaire (, Fred Nachtigal (, Steve Callaway (, Rick Van Beveren (, Anthony Martin (, Darell Lumaco (, Kyle Allen (

Tigard: John Cook (, John Goodhouse (, Jason Snider (, Marc Woodard (, Tom Anderson (

Forest Grove: Matt Vandehey (, Elena Uhing (, Timothy Rippe (, Malynda Wenzl (, Peter Truax (, Ronald Thompson (, Tom Johnston (

Sherwood: Jennifer Kuiper (, Sean Garland (, Kim Young (, Tim Rosener (, Renee Brouse (, Russell Griffin (, Lee Weislogel (

Cornelius: Harley Crowder (, Jeffrey Dalin (, Steve Heinrich (, Jose Orozco (, Dave Schamp (

North Plains: Cameron Martinez (, Russ Sheldon (, Larry Gonzales (, Sherrie Simmons (, Teri Lenahan (, Robert Kindel (, Garth Eimers (

King City: Kenneth Gibson (, Billie Reynolds (, John Boylston (, Bob Olmstead (, Jaimie Fender (, Gretchen Buehner (, Smart Ocholi (

Banks: Teri Branstitire (, Pete Edison (, Mark Gregg (, Stephanie Jones (, Dan Keller (, Michael Nelson (, Mark Walsh (

Durham: Gery Schirado (

City Councils – Clackamas County

Oregon City: Nancy Ide (, Dan Holladay (, Brian Shaw (

West Linn: Bob Martin (, Teri Cummings (, Brenda Perry (, Richard Sakelik (, Russ Axelrod (

Milwaukie: Shane Abma (, Wilda Parks (, Lisa Batey (, Angel Falconer (, Scott Churchill (, Mark Gamba (

Happy Valley: David Golobay (, Tom Ellis (, Markley Drake (, Lori DeRemer (, Brett Sherman (

Canby: Tyler Smith (, Sarah Spoon (, Tim Dale (, Greg Parker (, Tracie Heidt (, Tracey Hensley (, Brian Hodson (

Gladstone: Patrick McMahon (, Thomas Mersereau (, Neal Reisner (, Linda Neace (, Tamara Stempel (

Sandy: Carl Exner (, Olga Gerberg (, John Hamblin (, Donald Hollis (, Scott Horsfall (, William King (, Jeremy Pietzold (

Molalla: Jimmy Thompson (, Keith Swigart (, Leota Childress (, Cindy Dragowsky (, Elizabeth Klein (, DeLise Palumbo (, Glen Boreth (

Estacada: Sean Drinkwine (, "K.C Spangler" (, Aaron Gant (, Lanelle King (, Dan Neujahr (, Luke Wever (, Justin Gates (


Governor Brown

Debbie Koreski (

*3 Sources: Voters might support $1 billion housing bond – March 29, 2018, By Jim Redden for the Portland Tribune.

*4 PUBLIC HOUSING is a class of housing defined as, Means Test (<=80 percent MFI) + Government Subsidy (any government any type) + rental agreement.

*5 The following are the minimum fields per client record necessary for a data based public dialogue and defensible public housing policy:

Client incomeClient size of householdClient genderClient ageClient location by neighborhood or census tract in suburban and rural areasType of government subsidy e.g. section 8, landlord tax reduction, publicly owned property etc.Client raceDoes Client live in Affordable Housing? Most Public Housing *4 clients do NOT live in Affordable Housing *7.

*6 Metro housing bond gets down to details – Feb. 27, 2018, By Jim Redden for the Portland Tribune

*7 AFFORDABLE HOUSING is a mathematical construct defined as, Rent/Mortgage + Insurance + Taxes + Utilities <=30 percent Household Income. EVERY house, condo and apartment is AFFORDABLE to someone.

Image via Richard Ellmyer

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