Portland announces first planned purchase with housing bond funds

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Just days after the City of Portland released its 2016 ‘State of Housing' report, painting a grim picture of just how expensive the city has become for families, officials are offering up a glimmer of hope.

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Just days after the City of Portland released its 2016 ‘State of Housing’ report, painting a grim picture of just how expensive the city has become for families, officials are offering up a glimmer of hope.

The Portland Housing Bureau announced Friday morning officials plan to buy Ellington Apartments, along Northeast 66th Avenue between Broadway and Halsey, using revenue from a $258 million affordable housing bond approved by voters in the November election.

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“We’re going to acquire it as a means to prevent displacement of existing residents,” said Housing Commissioner Dan Saltzman. “But also we’re going to keep the units affordable, and we’re going to make more units affordable.”

A woman living in the complex told KGW that rent for a three-bedroom apartment at the Ellington complex is $1,700/month.

Saltzman said for some units, tenants should expect to see rents drop.

“We’re also going to make sure we have about 80 units that are for very low-income people, those making sort of zero to thirty percent of the average median income,” he said. “It’s about 263 units on eleven acres of land. Someday it will have a great redevelopment potential, too, so it’s really good that it will be under city ownership."

In a notice taped on residents’ doors Friday said the city planned to finalize the deal by February of 2017.

Read more about how Portland's housing bond will work.