City Council: Position 1
With the primary election happening, Street Roots asked the leading mayoral and city council candidates one question: If elected what three things will you do to improve the state of homelessness and affordable housing in Portland?
Check my record — what I have done in my first three years serving on the Portland City Council is what housing advocates and people concerned about houselessness can continue to depend on from me in my second term.
I have supported significant General Fund allocations for affordable housing, the safety net, and services for people experiencing homelessness, and I will continue to do so. I have prioritized requests for housing funding, particularly short term rental assistance and emergency assistance. I set up a process giving citizens real input into the city’s state and federal priorities, and I supported prioritizing requesting increased federal housing assistance on our national legislative lobbying agenda. When we climb out of the recession and homeowners are no longer upside-down on mortgage equity, I will support changes statewide generating more resources for affordable housing, such as the proposed real estate transfer tax.
I will continue to support quality affordable accessible rental housing. I received the Low Income Housing Champion award from the Community Alliance of Tenants in 2009. I supported funding for additional housing inspectors in BDS, and for measures holding banks more accountable for maintenance of foreclosed properties.
As a public official and private citizen, I will continue to support community partners, giving my time and my personal family income to nonprofits supporting housing, including JOIN, Proud Ground, Oregon ON, Human Solutions, Rose Haven, Bradley Angle, Portland Women’s Crisis Line, Volunteers of America, YWCA, REACH, Rose CDC, Habitat for Humanity, New Avenues for Youth, Janus Youth Programs, Central City Concern, Outside In, p:ear, The Salvation Army, Street Roots, Sisters of the Road, faith-based organizations, and more. I want to continue to partner with Portlanders who care about housing.
Meeting the challenges faced by our houseless fellow Portlanders and those struggling under the cost of housing will take big efforts by the city, county, Home Forward, non-profit housing partners and conscientious private developers of housing.
As city commissioner, I will focus most immediately on:
Predictability of city policies on housing funding, regulatory framework and permit issuance (both turn-around and cost). Specifically, city goals emphasize affordable housing within affordable commutes of jobs, but the agencies too often impose onerous conditions or costs on people trying to develop work-force housing in close-in neighborhoods. I will work to remove those inconsistencies.
Consistent respect for individuals’ liberties, and consistent application of state laws, as well as city ordinances. For those without houses, dignity and support with medical or employment needs is important, balanced with the needs of workers, visitors and nearby residents to have safe and clean neighborhoods.
Effective partnerships make Portland an attractive location for sustainable and eco-friendly industrial and commercial investment that expands family-wage employment and families’ self-sufficiency. A job that pays a living wage and includes benefits is the biggest help in securing safe housing. I’ve been developing effective relationships with smaller business leaders and progressive employers to be able to implement changes that maintain Portland’s high environmental and livability standards while supporting a strong middle-class economy.