Friday, September 19, 2014

City could walk its talk on affordable housing—and it won't cost $20 million

The Portland Tribune continues to follow the demolition issue closely. Clearly people care about the state of their neighborhoods, as evidenced by this letter that also ran in the Tribune, so succinct I'm pasting it in here in its entirety.

City refuses to heed public input 
I received the city of Portland’s flier wanting input on how to spend $20 million on affordable housing. There seems to be a complete disconnect between this bureaucratic effort and long-standing appeals by Northeast Portland communities to preserve existing affordable housing. 
I am referring to our many petitions to stop the destruction of affordable housing by developers. 
Affordable 800- to 1,400-square-foot homes that are very livable and architecturally harmonious to our communities are being replaced by ponderous 3,500- to 4,000-square-foot McMansions that cost two to three times the original home. 
In addition, these new structures are completely out of step with our communities, have no garden space, and block sun for those of us gardening and/or employing solar energy for power. 
Our mayor and City Council are aware of this and have received verbal and written complaints, but continue to dither away while developers destroy our pleasant, comfortable and affordable housing communities. 
Seems like the city might well listen to our long-standing input and save some of these $20 million taxpayer dollars for schools, street repair and other pressing issues. 
Tom Lichatowich 
Northeast Portland

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