Metro Poll Finds Support for $500 Million Portland-Area Housing Bond

Yesterday after Trimet cancelled plans to move forward with a bond, Metro said it might forward with a housing bond.

(Aaron Mesh)

New polling data suggest Metro Council has the preliminary support to move forward with a $500 million housing bond next year.

Of the 800 respondents surveyed by FM3 Research, 66 percent supported raising taxes by $50 a year. The poll, for which Metro paid $42,250, had a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.

This would be Metro Council's first housing bond. Last year, voters in Portland approved a housing bond worth $258 million.

Yesterday, after TriMet canceled plans to go to voters for a $1.7 billion bond, Metro said it would weigh moving forward with a housing bond as soon as next year and a transportation package in 2020.

Leaders at Metro, the regional planning agency for the Portland metro area, say the polling provides support for moving forward with a bond next year.

"This poll confirms what housing advocates, renters, seniors and others have been saying for far too long—housing should be an urgent priority for local leaders," says Tom Hughes, Metro's elected president, in a statement.

"Private developers and non-profits are not getting the job done alone. It's time for our community to come together and do more to ensure seniors, veterans, families and working people can afford a place to call home."

That might involve raising property taxes by about 20 cents per $1,000 of assessed value, though the poll did not mention a mechanism for the tax.

For a roughly $1 billion bond, 61 percent of voters supported the tax increases—a softer level of support.

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