Metro Housing Bond

Metro-area voters recently approved a $652.8 million general obligation bond, a proactive measure to address the shortage of affordable housing within Metro’s urban growth boundary. The bond allows our region the opportunity to invest in the development of new housing resources for some of our most vulnerable and historically marginalized residents.

Metro-wide goals for the bond funds include:

  • Create affordable homes for about 12,000 people across the region
  • Create approximately 1,600 homes for households with 30 percent of area median or less
  • Serve families (At least half of the affordable homes created will have two to five bedrooms.)
  • No more than 10 percent of homes will house people between 61 to 80 percent of area median income.
  • Create 20.8 percent of homes in Clackamas County, 45 percent in Multnomah County and 34 percent in Washington County (This number is based on the assessed value of the property tax within each county within the metro boundary, which is an estimate placed on a property by the county’s tax assessor.)
  • Utilize all funding within seven years

What Does The Metro Bond Mean For Clackamas County?

Metro Bond GoalsClackamas County currently has about 41 percent of the affordable homes needed to meet our residents’ needs. This includes single family homes, apartments in the private market that do not have rent limits and apartments with rent limits (regulated affordable housing lower-income families can qualify for).

The bond will cost homeowners, on average, about $60 per year over the next 30 years.

These funds allow the county to shape the landscape of housing that will serve our communities affordable housing needs for decades to come. The county’s goals for the bond funds are to:

  • Create housing for over 2500 county residents
  • Develop approximately 812 new affordable housing units
  • Meet the needs of families by making at least 406 units two bedroom or larger
  • Create affordable homes for low-income families earning between 61 – 80% of AMI by using up to 10% of the funding
  • Develop and make accessible at least 333 units to extremely low-income families earning 30% or less of AMI

Clackamas County is committed to using information gathered by a robust community engagement process to inform the strategy that will be laid out in the Clackamas County Implementation Strategy Proposal. The implementation plan will guide the creation of housing using these new funds.

What is Area Median Income?

Area Median IncomeArea Median Income (AMI) limits are established annually by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Median income varies by family size. It is a measurement of where a family’s earnings lie on the spectrum from very rich to very poor. The median calculated by HUD is the middle of the spectrum where 50 percent of families make more than the median and 50 percent of families make less than the median. Those making 80 percent or less than the median are considered low income.

In Clackamas County $81,400 is considered the midpoint of earnings for a family of 4. If a family of 4 makes at least $81,400, they are not considered low income but rather “middle class”.

Will You or a Family Member Qualify to Live in Affordable Housing?

If your family earns 80% or less of Area Median Income based on the chart below you would qualify to live in housing developed by the Bond.

Family Size Low Income 80% Very Low Income 50% Extremely Low Income 30%
1 $45,600 $28,500 $17,100
2 52,100 32,600 19,550
3 58,600 36,650 22,000
4 65,100 40,700 25,100
5 $70,350 44,000 29,420

What is Affordable Housing?

The definition of affordable housing depends on income level. The more income you have, the more you can pay toward your housing costs. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) defines affordable housing as, housing that costs 30 percent or less of a household’s income. That means that housing affordability depends on the family and not on whether you own a home or live in public-subsidized housing. Unfortunately, the gap between rent and wages has widened in our community, making the majority of rental units out of reach for many of our neighbors.

Will You or a Family Member Qualify to Live in Affordable Housing?

If your family earns 80% or less of Area Median Income based on the chart below you would qualify to live in housing developed by the Bond.

Who needs subsidized housing

Metro Bond Frequently Asked Questions

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The bond will create 21 percent of homes in Clackamas County, 45 percent in Multnomah County and 34 percent in Washington County.

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The Metro Urban Growth Boundary is made up of portions of three counties. Each county contributes a different percentage of property taxes based on how many of the county’s homes fall within the boundary. The intention of the program is to create affordable homes proportionate to revenue raised in each county. Clackamas County’s portion of the revenue generated through property taxes within the urban growth boundary is 21 percent.

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Each county will develop plans based upon our own needs. This local plan will be approved by the Clackamas County Board of Commissioners and then by Metro Council. This plan will be developed following an extensive community outreach process, and Clackamas County will speak to our jurisdictional partners as well about their priorities as well. The Metro Implementation Committee will review project plans to ensure they will enable us to meet our specific goals.

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The bond will cost county homeowners about $60 per year, or $5 per month, based on assessed home value of $250,000.

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The bond requires the establishment of a Community Oversight Committee to track the program goals and provide accountability to voters. The distribution of funds is just one of several outcomes that they will track.

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The committee will be made up of 7-15 community leaders who cannot be elected officials or have monetary conflicts of interest. Metro is accepting nominations now for interested community members. The 2019 Metro Council will appoint members who are diverse in perspective and expertise.

The committee will:

  • Review implementation strategies
  • Provide ongoing project review and annual program reports
  • Assess program outcomes and make recommendations to staff
  • Recommend changes to Implementation Strategy amendments as needed
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The funds can only be used to:

  • Build new affordable housing
  • Purchase and rehabilitate existing housing
  • Buy land for new affordable housing
  • Create affordable homeownership programs
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The majority of Bond funds MUST be used for housing units.

Ten percent of the funds generated by the bond will be used by Metro to acquire land that will be developed into affordable housing within the region. Five percent of the funds will be set aside for administrative costs. This allows local entities to hire the staff required to implement the plans they are developing.

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Yes. The Clackamas County Implementation plan requires robust community involvement as we develop our regional priorities.

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The unit goals identified in the prior section labelled “What does the Housing Bond mean for Clackamas County” will be the driving force behind the type of housing to be built. Additionally, the county’s implementation plan will include input from the community as we work to identify local priorities which must be aligned with the following core values laid out in Metro’s Bond

Framework:

  • Lead with racial equity
  • Create opportunity for those in need
  • Create opportunity throughout the region
  • Ensure long-term benefits and good use of public dollars
     
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There is much work to do before housing can actually be built. Metro has set a goal for the implementation plans to be approved by July 2019, with the targeted dates as follows:

  • November through December 2018: Stakeholder engagement to inform Metro plan for accountability/oversight
  • January 2019: Metro Council will adopt work plan and oversight committee appointments
  • January through spring 2019: Implementation Strategy development using local community engagement
  • Summer through fall 2019: Local Implementation Strategy will be approved by the Clackamas County Board of Commissioners, then delivered to Metro Council’s appointed Community Oversight Committee. The Metro Council will review and approve the Implementation Strategy by fall of 2019. Funding will be made available for development and acquisition of affordable housing.
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Community Engagement Activities

May 14 Housing Forum: targeted outreach to jurisdictional partners and developers
May 15 Input from engaged residents through ClackCo Academy
May 23 Our housing, our communities! 6 p.m.
June 11 Homeless Solutions Coalition of Clackamas County - meeting dedicated to the bond (more info)
Providence Willamette Falls Community Center
519 15th St, Oregon City, OR 97045
2 p.m. to 4p.m.
June 15 Clackamas County Coordinating Committee (C4) Retreat (A portion of the meeting will focus on the Metro Bond.)
June 20 Our housing, our communities! 6 p.m.