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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on May 26, 2010 10:35 AM. The previous post in this blog was Another bad moment for Tri-Met. The next post in this blog is It's o.k. to guess. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Portlanders, hold onto what's left of your wallets

Mayor Creepy has cut yet another deal with Homer Williams and Dike Dame for another SoWhat bunker -- this one for homeless veterans to live in, supposedly. And they've been working hard to make the project "pencil" -- that's the signal for the city's taxpayers to "assume the position," as they used to say at the frat house:

The $49.8 million project will use a combination of tax-increment financing from the North Macadam Urban Renewal area, bond financing and tax credit equity from a 4 percent low income housing tax credit available through the state of Oregon. The project’s funding strategy still needs to be approved by Portland city council. That vote will take place in September.
How much more money can the city borrow and hand over to Homer and Dike to pour into their bank accounts, or down a rat hole? Truly amazing. And of course, as housing commish, Nick Fish is in this one up to his eyeballs with the clown princes of high-rise insanity.

As for wheeling out the veterans to sell the deal to the public, it's important to note that less than a quarter of the apartments are apparently going to be reserved for them. As a shining, happy e-mail message from the city points out:

The project will have 209 affordable apartments over ground-floor space that may be used for retail, office or community services. All 209 of the apartments will be affordable to households earning 60% of median family income (MFI).

Providing housing for homeless veterans is a key focus. The building will reserve 42 apartments for veterans earning less than 30% MFI. Support services and rent assistance for residents will be provided by the Veterans Administration Supportive Housing (VASH) vouchers, administered by the Housing Authority of Portland’s (HAP).

And the contractor? Three guesses should be more than sufficient.

And did this job go out to public bid? I must have missed it.

Comments (22)

And did they forget to mention that it would be "Green" and "Sustainable".

Portland needs to follow Seattle and allow more granny flats/cottages:

"How much more money can the city borrow and hand over to Homer and Dike to pour into their bank accounts, or down a rat hole?"

How much more money can Portland borrow?

Great question...

from CNBC:

More Cities on Brink of Bankruptcy

The possibility of a bankruptcy filing by the city of Harrisburg, Pa., the state capital, looms large these days-and it could be the first in a series, say some Wall Street traders.

Vallejo, Harrisburg, soon Portland.

Is this project near a streetcar line or will it require an extension be built? And does it have bike parking for those homeless vets? Can't we work in an anchor tennant like a Whole Foods or a Starbucks? How are those homeless vets going to get nourishment?

Granny flats are a great way of reducing rents, increasing income to single-family residences, and creating positive infill into existing neighborhoods without any visual impacts whatsoever (with proper codes, at least.

Portland already allows these types of units:

If I had to comment on the most important aspect of granny flats, is that they can accommodate our aging population to come and live with nearby family members instead of shoving our parents into nursing homes.

Has anybody ever looked at the "real" set of financial books for the City?

This is known as the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report and can often be billions more than they claim they have in their budget.

I wouldn't be surprised to find all sorts of money hidden away for a rainy day (slush, slush)

Betcha the vote for that shameless exploitation of our military veterans gets moved up suddenly at last possible moment. Voting in favor: Samrand, ?? Against: Those with any sense of morality and responsibility.

(Providing housing for homeless veterans is a key focus.)

BUT, less than 20% of those units will be "reserved" for them.

It's all over....

One more thing to distract people from crappy schools, potholes, bad infrastructure and high water/sewer bills.

That's a cost of $240,000 per apartment, for those who are counting (i.e. not the city.)

Here is page 62 of the 2009 CAFR. Seems like they have a ton of money "invested":

A. Cash and investments:
Cash and investments for the primary government are comprised of governmental and business-type
activities. The balances at June 30, 2009 are:
Primary Component
Government Unit (PDC) Total
Cash on hand $ - $ 500 $ 5 00
Deposits with financial institutions 14,764,233 423,083 1 5,187,316
Investments 610,238,963 112,044,406 7 22,283,369
Total primary government 6 25,003,196 112,467,989 7 37,471,185
Fiduciary 52,316,490 70,647 52,387,137
Total Government $ 677,319,686 $ 112,538,636 $ 7 89,858,322

why are we putting low income housing on the most expensive land in Oregon?

Why not just a short light rail ride away in Gateway, or Hillsborro?


Um -- did you make that image? It is quite funny.

Regarding "Granny Flats," didn't the city council vote last month to take a somewhat significant step towards further incentives for that kind of thing -- a reduction of system development fees for construction involving the flats? Something I read in the Hollywood Star (or Star News, or whatever they call it now). Not available online, unfortunately, and something I don't entirely recall the specifics of.

Greece 2 in the making at cityhall. Better to find another location to reside, preferrably the other side of the Multnomah county boundary.

I've never liked this project, but I think the City is stuck with it because of all the bad decisions they made in SoWa many many years ago. The deal with Homer sucked (for the City), the City unnecessarily delayed the project years ago costing it millions in devalued tax credits and sunk costs, the veterans requirement made it more and more expensive, and the area doesn't really have very good amenities for homeless folks. But, there is one shining light. For those veterans receiving treatment and services at the VA it will have great access to the VA located on Pill Hill assuming they have a way to get from the TRAM to the VA.

There are many unanswered questions here. While it is clear that Homer and Dike are getting paid rather handsomely ($3.35 million developer fee), I think it's worth asking how much of and equity stake they're getting. Is this a partnership between the City and private developers?

There is absolutely no transparency with these types of arrangements....

Why do we need transparency for a public-private partnership?

If our elected officals are the public partner for us aren't they looking out for our interests?

Oh well there are some problems with that.
Our elected officials have zero sense of fiduciary responsibility.
Among other lack of of sense.

I thought we had enough empty units in our city and it appears there are more and more vacancy signs on businesses and units. People are moving out, instead we are told we have to pay and to sacrifice our livability for millions that may come in.

Why not a building moratorium for a while until we can have integrity on evaluation of what we do need and audits? Just how many vacant housing units are there right now?

JFC! People get ready. Just take over a majority of the City Council seats. This isn't rocket science. New party: *The After Party*

this is only a mere 2.2 remodel - not build...

Peebody, you bring up a good point. Is SoWhat Affordable Housing a good expenditure of limited Affordable Housing dollars? SoWhat has the highest land costs, some of the highest building costs, and the public infrastructure cost has been the highest.

This question has been asked at PDC meetings and the result was a lot of squirming by staff, committee members and audience.

Is it fair to ask about spending these dollars to get more bang for the buck? Living by the recently required 30% expenditure of all of a urban renewal areas total indebtedness for affordable housing only within the area should have sensibility applied to it. Having the 30% absolute should be modified where some of the affordable housing set-a-side can be used in other parts of the city.

Great picture. You even thought to add in the Welches con man.


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