Monday, November 23, 2015

Lawmakers plan to respond to housing crisis

Legislation is in the works to help address the shortage of affordable housing statewide.

Paris Achen 

Lawmakers plan to offer an omnibus housing bill in February to respond to a shortage of affordable housing that has reached crisis levels statewide. The House Committee on Human Services and Housing has two months to finalize details of the proposal, said committee Chairwoman Rep. Alissa Keny-Guyer.   “We want to figure out what we can do to help people who are struggling right now,” Keny-Guyer said.   The Portland Democrat said the committee also plans to bring back legislation to increase funding for a state program that helps build new affordable housing for families with children who are at risk of homelessness. In 2015, the Legislature committed $40 million of general obligation bonds to support the program. Keny-Guyer said she wants lawmakers to approve $60 million more......To Read More... 

Editor's Note:  Here's a published comment worth reading:

This is yet another story of the necessary role of government to ameliorate the excesses of our American free market economy with regards to housing. It is a policy issue which continues to bedevil politicians because most of them do not have the education, the meaningful, accurate, complete and timely Public and Affordable Housing Statistical Data nor the skill to debate the matter with facts, clarity and defensible arguments. The same is true for the Press.

The standard political response to a so-called “housing crisis” is to throw more taxpayer dollars at the problem which they always deliberately misidentify as “affordable housing” * when what they are really talking about is PUBLIC HOUSING.**

What is always missing are the facts that support exactly which economic constituency(s) has a “housing crisis”, to what degree and in which neighborhoods. Defining the problem and solution by neighborhoods is absolutely necessary for the public to understand how the government’s decision making will affect them. Explaining housing decisions by neighborhood is anathema to every politician because it exposes their ignorant, indefensible protectionist and economic segregationist views.

Also undefined is precisely on which economic constituency(s) and in which neighborhoods will the proposed tax dollars be spent?

Finally, does the solution match the problem? Of course the answer is always, We Don’t Have A Clue. Hardly any other public policy exposes the myth of holding government accountable more then that of housing. And so it goes.

Richard Ellmyer. North Portland
Author of more stories on the politics, players and policies of Public Housing and its euphemisms, Affordable/ Regulated Affordable/ Publicly Subsidized Affordable and Low-Income Housing in Multnomah County over the last fourteen years than all other journalists and elected officials combined.
P.S.
I make an open ended offer to discuss/debate this issue in public or private with any publicly elected official in the state of Oregon with the authority to spend taxpayer dollars on housing project.
AFFORDABLE HOUSING is a mathematical construct defined as, Rent/Mortgage + Insurance + Taxes + Utilities <=30% Household Income. EVERY house, condo and apartment is AFFORDABLE to someone.
PUBLIC HOUSING is a class of housing defined as, Means Test (<=80%MFI) + Government Subsidy (any government any type) + rental agreement.

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