Eliot Neighborhood Association (ENDA)
Housing Preservation and Development Policy
Adopted by ENDA Board April 14, 1997
Adopted by the General Membership, October 23 1997
It is the policy of the Eliot Neighborhood Association to preserve existing single family structures, increase home ownership opportunities in Eliot, and maintain the diversity of the neighborhood.
Eliot has historically been a neighborhood of affordable single family houses. More than fifty percent of residential Eliot prior to the Albina community Plan was lost over the years. Although we supported higher residential density in the Albina Community Plan, the Eliot Neighborhood Association (ENDA) believes it is important to preserve the single family character of the neighborhood. The ENDA therefore adopts the following policy, applicable to all zones, which seeks to preserve single family residences, promote home ownership, and ensure the new multifamily construction is developed in a manner that both enhances the livability of the neighborhood and reflects the historic architectural flavor of Eliot.
- Single family houses located in areas zoned R-2 shall be preserved and restored where possible. The demolition of restorable single family houses shall be opposed. Where a single family house must be destroyed to make way for new development, the feasibility of moving the house to another lot in Eliot shall be pursued. ENDA shall oppose condemnation of sound homes with historic or cultural significance regardless of zone.
- Approximately 30% of the housing units in Eliot are owner occupied. The remaining 70% of the housing units are rental units. At least 33% of these rental units are subsidized to provide housing opportunities to individual and families earning less than 50% of median family income (MFI). Approximately 12% of the rental units are subsidized to provide housing for those earning between 50% and 60% MFI. An additional 10% are subsidized but do not have specific MFI eligibility criteria. The remaining 45% of the rental units are not subsidized and, presumably, reflect what the market will bear given the size, condition, and location of these units. ENDA’s goal is to increase the owner occupancy rate to at least 60% and to increase economic diversity in the neighborhood. A higher owner occupancy rate will promote stability in Eliot by increasing the number of residents holding a vested interest in the long tern livability of the neighborhood. Economic diversity, in addition to ethnic and cultural diversity, helps to create a virtual neighborhood able to attract and support an array of businesses which provide essential goods, services and jobs for all neighborhood residents. In light of Eliot’s low owner occupancy rate, and high concentration of rent subsidies below 50% MFI, the following types of development, in the order listed, shall be preferred:
- The owner occupancy rate of at least 60% is Eliot’s primary goal. Owner occupied development shall give first priority to traditional single family detached housing, then to row houses, duplexes an accessory housing units, and lastly to cooperatives and condominiums. In order to minimize potential displacement of low income residents who currently reside in Eliot, subsidized owner occupied housing is specifically encouraged. Examples of subsidized owner occupied housing includedprojects such as those already developed in Eliot by habitat for Humanity, HOST and NECDC.
- The existing balance between market rate and subsidized rental units shall be maintained at approximately a 50%-50% split. However, where subsidized rental property is developed, it shall be for individuals and families earning at least 50% MFI. Developments which call for a mix of income levels within a single project, i.e. 50%MFI all the way up to market rate, are specifically encouraged.
- The disposition of county owned lots to non-profit residential developers shall be to those who will develop the lots into owner occupied housing and who are financially and technically able to initiate construction within one year and complete construction within two years.
- Historic district design standards for new development and restoration of existing structures shall be strictly adhered to in order to preserve and enhance the historic architectural flavor of Eliot.
- Property owners shall maintain properties within building code requirement and eliminate eyesores that detract from “curb appeal” in Eliot.
- Good neighbor agreements will be sought from all non-profits developing housing in Eliot. These good neighborhood agreements will require home ownership in R-2 zones. The type of development in RX and RH zones will depend on the particular circumstances of the site but in the event that a single family house is demolished for such development, the house must be replaced by another detached single family house in the neighborhood. Good neighbor agreements will also agree to meet historic district design standards and will set standards for property management and oversight in the case of rental property.
- The ENDA recognizes the social need addressed by special needs housing and services. However, Eliot currently has an abundance of special needs housing and services. Any more would detrimentally affect the livability of the neighborhood. Accordingly, the development of new special needs housing and services shall be opposed in accordance with existing ENDA policy.
- This policy will be reviewed and changes made, if any, one year from it
(1) This percentage and the percentages that follow were calculated using data provided by Fidelity National Title and is current as of December 1996. The information on subsidized units is from various City, State, Federal and private housing sources. The figures provided are deemed reliable but are not guaranteed.
(2) It is safe to assume the total MFI of the residents in these units are below 50% MFI since these units consist exclusively of special needs housing such as teen mothers, homelessness transition housing, and substance abuse recovery housing.
(3) City of Portland Ordinances No. 167189 (1983) currently prohibits city funding for housing projects in Eliot in which more that 50% of the units are expected to be for residents earning less than 50% MFI. This policy is based on research by the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development which shows the “neighborhoods with high rates of people in poverty exhibit most of the social and physical environmental problems that make them distressed areas. Strategies for Fair Housing, Final Draft, January14,1994, Bureau of Planning and Bureau of Housing and Community Development, City of Portland, pg. 50. It is also based on the recognition that “the geographic concentration of housing and services for low-income people, including people with disabilities, limits housing and neighborhood choice for low-income people, and leads to increased economic segregation in the community. Ibid. at pg2