PortlandOnline

POL Government Elected Officials Commissioner Nick Fish
National Housing Conference forum highlights affordable housing preservation - May 17, 2010

Nick was honored to deliver welcome remarks this morning at "Partners in Innovation: Financing the Preservation of Rural and Urban Affordable Rental Housing," a forum presented by the National Housing Conference (NHC) and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

 

He also sat on the forum's first panel, "Why Preservation Matters - The Importance of Preserving Federally Subsidized Housing," moderated by Victor Merced, Director of Oregon Housing and Community Services. Joining him on the panel were Michael Bodaken of the National Housing Trust, Carol Galante of the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, and Larry Anderson of USDA Rural Development.

 

With Carol Galante and Victor Merced

 

Preserving affordable housing is a top priority for the Portland Housing Bureau (PHB.) Affordable properties often use federal subsidies to keep rents low; when these subsidies expire, many affordable buildings are converted to market-rate units. Keeping these buildings affordable is a top priority for Nick, PHB Director Margaret Van Vliet, and their team at PHB. PHB has identified 11 properties with federal subsidies expiring by 2013 - the effort to re-up these subsidies and preserve these buildings as affordable housing is known as the '11 by 13' campaign. That campaign recently celebrated two victories; first, Walnut Park was preserved late last year, and more recently, Upshur House in Northwest Portland was preserved, ensuring that these properties will remain affordable for the next 20 years.

 

Read more about the forum on the NHC blog.