Hall Monitor

A Wakeup Call on Housing

Comments

1
Mayor Hales can postpone votes on his affordable/PUBLIC housing plans for several Urban Renewal areas and his as yet fruitless effort to deal with the R2DToo homeless issue till the cows come home but he cannot provide defensible solutions unless and until he is ready to unlock the data vaults at the Housing Bureau and the Public Housing Authority of Multnomah County with the following accurate, complete and timely information which is absolutely necessary for a public policy debate:
1. Client income (Must be annually reviewed and reentered if changed.)
2. Client size of household (Must be annually reviewed and reentered if changed.)
3. Client gender
4. Client age (Automatically calculated from date of birth field.)
5. Client location by neighborhood or census tract (Must be annually reviewed and reentered if changed.)
6. Type of government subsidy e.g. section 8, landlord tax reduction, publicly owned property etc. (Must be annually reviewed and reentered if changed.)
7. Value of annual or monthly government subsidy (Must be annually reviewed and reentered if changed.)
8. Date client record was first entered (Automatically entered by program.)
9. Date client record was last modified (Automatically entered by program.)
10. Name of operator who last modified record. (Automatically entered by program.)

A recent, widely reported study from Portland-based think tank City Observatory debunked a myth of gentrification and confirmed concentrations of poverty in just a handful of Portland/Multnomah County neighborhoods. Its summary conclusion, The persistence and spread of concentrated poverty - NOT gentrification - is our biggest urban challenge.*

For decades, under the direction of Portland’s mayors, who have singular statutory authority over Public Housing policy in Multnomah county, the Portland city council, the Multnomah county commission, the Gresham city council and yes, even Oregon’s department of Human Services, conspired in the support and execution of the discredited and abhorrent policy of Targeted, UNLIMITED Neighborhood Concentration of Public Housing.

For decades, under the direction of Portland’s mayors, who have singular statutory authority over Public Housing policy in Multnomah county, the Portland city council, the Multnomah county commission, the Gresham city council and yes, even Oregon’s department of Health and Human Services, conspired to keep accurate, complete and timely Public Housing Statistical Data from elected officials, the press and the public.

Concentrations of low-income Public housing by neighborhood do NOT HAPPEN BY ACCIDENT. They are primarily caused by government policy.

In Multnomah county this government policy is determined by the mayor of Portland because the mayor has the singular statutory authority to appoint and, more importantly, dismiss, the commissioner in charge of the Housing Bureau and the board of the Public Housing Authority of Multnomah County. A person with the power to fire someone from a job is universally known as THE BOSS. In government/political parlance it would not be inaccurate to call Portland’s mayor, Charlie Hales, the Public Housing Czar of Multnomah County.

The first rule of holes is, “When you find yourself in one - stop digging.” Portland’s mayor, Charlie Hales, using his own shovel, is deep inside a Public Housing Hole of Ignorance. His self-inflicted Public Housing data deficit makes his pronouncements on the subject without credibility and foolish.


Richard Ellmyer
North Portland
Author of more stories on the politics, players and policies of Public/Regulated Affordable/Low-Income/Publicly Subsidized Affordable Housing in Multnomah County over the last thirteen years than all other journalists and elected officials combined.

*
http://cityobservatory.org/lost-in-place/