Metro Housing Bond Cruising to Victory in Portland Area

So is a statewide measure that will expand how the money can be used.

Convention Center Hyatt. (Justin Katigbak)

The campaign for a $653 million affordable housing bond for the Portland Metro area declared victory Tuesday night, four minutes after polls closed.

Cheers rang out among the crowd gathered in the open lobby of an architecture firm.

"I'm very excited to build some shit," incoming Metro president Lynn Petersen told the cheering crowd. "We build communities at Metro, and now we're literally going to build communities. What voters told us tonight is they understand the need."

The outcome had been assumed for much of the fall election cycle, as opponents barely mounted an campaign against Measure 26-199. But the passage still marks a significant moment as the Portland area moves forward with dealing with its affordable housing crisis.

The bond money will build at least 3,900 units of housing, with regional planning agency Metro dividing the money between three counties based on their property tax rolls.

Owners of a house with an assessed value of $250,000 will pay $60 a year more in taxes.

"I'm really proud of Oregon voters for saying yes to affordable housing," Nick Fish tells WW. "It's the largest housing bond in the history of the state. I'm over the moon. "

Fish said the margin of victory would add momentum to feature efforts to fund housing.

Measure 102 also passed. That allows Metro and the city of Portland to work with private developers and nonprofits to leverage their resources.

In 2016, Portland overwhelmingly passed a $258 million housing bond, the first in the region. This new measure expands the work.

It's a local recognition that the federal government can't be expected to fill the funding gap for affordable housing crunch.

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