Ballot measures over contentious topics such as immigration, tax policy and abortion are garnering the attention this fall, but Oregon voters also will consider a statewide measure advocates say helps address the housing crisis.
Measure 102 would amend the state Constitution and make it easier for cities and counties to use their power to borrow money for affordable housing construction.
Right now, state law essentially requires local governments to retain full ownership of housing projects paid for with revenue from government bonds.
The change would allow governments to use bond revenue to build projects they don’t fully own, easing the process to partner with nonprofit groups and private developers and to use federal tax credits.
Housing advocates say this would result in more quickly built housing. As an example, they point to Measure 26-199, a $652.8 million housing bond the Metro regional government has asked Portland-area voters to approve.
If Measure 102 passes, the bond measure could create as many as 4,000 affordable units. Under current state law, it would build about 2,400.
State legislators voted to put Measure 102 on the ballot. It has largely bipartisan support; the two major candidates for governor — Democratic Gov. Kate Brown and Republican state Rep. Knute Buehler — have said they're for it.