Want to get involved in the affordable housing conversation in your community?

January’s meeting of the Boise Neighborhood Association was joined by Jes Larson and Cameron Herrington of North/Northeast Neighbors for Housing Affordability (NNNHA), a grassroots volunteer organization formed a year ago comprised of N/NE residents and handful of professionals who work in the housing and social justice sectors.

Jes and Cameron spoke to the neighborhood association about the key work and priorities of the NNNHA:

  • Livability within a neighborhood comes from a balanced mix of different kinds of housing that leads to a healthy and viable community, but Portland is lacking thousand of units of needed affordable housing. Jes, as co-chair of NNNHA and leader of the Welcome Home Coalition, is gathering up region­wide housing advocacy efforts to focus on new ongoing revenue for affordable housing, likely gearing up toward a ballot measure in 2016. They have a fiscal sponsor under Oregon Opportunity Network and have a steering committee with members from regional non­profits.

  • Priority policies for this year will be inclusionary housing and ICURA (Interstate Corridor Urban Renewal Area) commitment to affordable housing (Portland Housing Bureau has set aside $20M).

  • The board of the Boise Neighborhood voted to endorse a letter drafted by the NNNHA that calls for Portland Housing Bureau to use $20M to purchase land rather than subsidizing affordable housing right now. This “land banking” is a long-term strategy for creating substantial affordable housing in the coming years that recognizes gentrification displacement patterns.

  • A bill to repeal Oregon’s ban on inclusionary zoning will be introduced in the legislature. Portland City Council has endorsed this bill and NNNHA will advocate for it and drum up endorsements. If the ban gets repealed, NNNHA hopes to be part of the conversation about how to implement it.

Are you interested in joining the conversation on affordable housing? Here are some ways to get involved:

  • Check out the NNNHA on Facebook!

  • Anyone can join the NNNHA advocacy group! They meet the first Wednesday of the month, at 7PM at the office of the Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods (4815 NE 7th Ave).

  • On March 11 and May 13, the group will be travelling by bus to Salem to advocate for a suite of policies, the topmost being inclusionary housing and increasing budgets for affordable housing. 

  • On January 28, City Council will hold an open meeting to discuss the N/NE Housing Investment Strategy.