By Miranda Bonifield
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Metro claims Measure 26-199 is designed to address affordable housing, but the 652.8 million dollar bond measure raises taxes for homeowners without ensuring that it will accomplish its goals.
Metro claims these bonds would fund up to 3,900 low-income housing units. However, the measure doesn’t require a minimum number of units: Metro could build a few units, spend the rest of the money on “services,” and fulfill the requirements of Measure 26-199. The text of the measure even says these bonds may be used for things like grocery or retail space without limitation. In other words, there’s no guarantee the measure will make even a small improvement to housing affordability.
There is no deadline ensuring Metro provides these units in a timely fashion. There is no requirement for Metro to change its practices if auditors find Metro is failing to accomplish its goals. 26-199 asks you to trust Metro’s intentions without any accountability to encourage success. Meanwhile, urban growth boundaries and endless red tape keep Oregon’s housing supply from meeting the needs of our growing population.
Any major project needs firm deadlines and specific goals to have any hope of success, but Metro’s measure provides neither.
Miranda Bonifield is a Research Associate at Cascade Policy Institute, Oregon’s free market public policy research organization.