It’s winter, a time for holiday cards and, less welcome, property tax bills. This time next year you may look back fondly at your tax bill as the Governor, Speaker of the House, and legislators from Beaverton and Hood River have all indicated they want to revisit our property tax system. Their public justification is that “gentrification” has resulted in “those homeowners” not “paying their fair share.” Of course, “gentrification” is a code word for homeowners in inner N/NE Portland; namely, us. To see how this might affect you and your neighbors, look at the difference between the “assessed value” and “market value” of your home. “Reform” will likely reset assessed value to market value so the difference (currently about 4 times for an older Eliot home), is how much taxes could increase; 400%!
This is the mantra encouraged by a Seattle based research group studying solutions to increase livability in their city. Portlanders find ourselves in a similar situation; we need more housing options. 40% of people in the Portland-Hillsboro-Vancouver MSA rent their homes. At the same time, according to a study by the National Low Income Housing Coalition, the average rent for 1-bedroom apartments is no longer affordable for people earning the mean renter wage. For families that make less than half of the median family income (Portland’s median family income is around $83,000 per year), there is an affordable housing shortage. In Multnomah County, the estimated wait time for housing assistance is 14.5 years. If you were to get on the waitlist when your child is a baby, you’d be waiting for housing assistance until your child was a high schooler.
Garlington Place Apartments will open its doors in February 2018, offering 52 housing options including studios, one-bedroom and two-bedroom units. The four-story apartments will anchor the northern corner of Monroe Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, offering 31 units for anyone qualified, with preference for former North and Northeast Portland residents. In addition, 10 units will be for Veterans who qualify and who are facing homelessness, as well as 10 units for people with mental health challenges. Cascadia began accepting Garlington Place applications through the Portland Housing Bureau’s Preference Policy on Monday, October 16th in anticipation of new tenants moving in as soon as February 2018. This article is the third in a series describing Cascadia’s Garlington Health and Wellness campus, and explains the Garlington Place amenities and application process.