After criticisms that Mayor Ted Wheeler has failed to move aggressively toward building affordable housing, Wheeler today announced the addition of a senior policy adviser for housing.
The mayor initially hired a policy director, Alma Flores, who was charged with overseeing housing — an issue that was central to the mayoral campaign. But Flores returned to a previous job in March. Since then, the work has fallen to lower-level staffers who didn't have experience in housing.
Cupid Alexander started today. His hiring addresses the lack of experience. He previously worked for the Portland Housing Bureau.
But the hiring won't speed up the city's decisions about spending the $258 million in bond money approved by voters last November. Spending won't move forward for at least another six weeks. The mayor still plans to bring a framework for how to spend the bond money to City Council on Oct. 11.
Release from the mayor's office: