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City council approves low income, supportive housing in North Portland – Portland Mercury

Here is how non-affordable housing projects are being handled on N Williams.

Here you can read how non-affordable housing developments are handled on N Williams. Sarah Mirk

Families living under the federal poverty line. People with developmental disorders. Long-term porters who have been displaced from their neighborhood.

Portland's newest affordable housing project succeeds in attracting tenants who fall into one of these categories. The 60-story North Portland complex – the 4.5 million dollar budget approved by the city council this morning – will put some of the most vulnerable populations in Portland under one roof.

"We want to create projects that meet different needs," says Shannon Callahan, director of the Portland Housing Bureau.

Called the North Williams Center, the slated development will occupy land that was formerly owned by Multnomah County along N Williams Ave between NE Thompson and NE Tillamook.

The city reserves 40 of the 60 units of the building for tenants who earn 30 percent or less than the median income in the Portland area. Currently, the average annual income for a family of four living in the Portland-Vancouver metro area is $ 81,400. A family of four who lives for 30 percent of them has an annual income of $ 24,420.

The remaining 20 units are reserved for Portlanders who are eligible for the & preference; preference policy & # 39; of the city, which gives rental preference to homes in the city to people whose family was once owned in North and Northeast Portland, but who were displaced by urban development projects (looking for you, Memorial Coliseum).

Callahan says that 10 of those total units are held for tenants who could benefit from "supportive housing", a model that combines specialized support services, such as mental health care and addiction care, with low-income housing.

Eighteen of the units have three bedrooms, a rarity in the most affordable housing complexes. On the capacity, says Callahan, the new residence could house 194 people.

The development is financed by both public and private dollars. The $ 4.5 million of the city comes from a pot of money that is specifically reserved for economic reinvestment in North Portland, an area that the city's Interstate Corridor & # 39; calls. Construction starts in March.

"This is part of the city's commitment to North and Northeast Portland," says Callahan. "It is a wonderful development that the community needs and deserves."

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