Please join the Chamber on July 12th for an Government & Economic Affairs AM at Adventist Health. Coffee and breakfast goodies will be provided.
Leaders from our community will join us to talk about how we can bring about increased affordable housing close to work locations of low and median income workers as quickly as possible. Javier Mena of the Portland Housing Authority, Rob Justus of Home First and Madeline Kovacs, coordinator of Portland for Everyone will be our panel of guest speakers.
As many of us know:
- Housing costs, both for the purchase of homes and the rental of apartments, have been spiraling in the Portland area.
- The businesses in our Chamber of Commerce are dealing with the challenge of giving their employees affordable wages to help cover their housing costs and keep their doors open.
- We have heard that the rental prices “are not high enough” to give developers an incentive to build more housing and commercial buildings on the East side of Portland.
- According to Oregon state economist Christian Kaylor, the average salary in East Portland (East of 82nd) is the lowest in the state, lower than Douglas County and just as low, if not lower, than Mississippi and Alabama.
- The roads are getting clogged with commuters driving greater distances to work which only exacerbates the challenges on family’s monthly income when they have to drive long distances to their jobs.
- A bond measure was passed last Fall to provide housing for low income families.
Each speaker will be given five minutes to share one concrete solution to our workforce housing issue (rent control, increase the urban growth boundary, more ADUs to increase density, etc), sharing which option is the best, or least bad.
Note cards will be passed through the audience, and as the speakers are talking, people will be encouraged to write down their questions. At the end of the three presentations, the note cards will be passed to the Master of Ceremonies who will give the questions to the speakers.
Madeline Kovacs is the Coordinator of Portland for Everyone, a coalition of individuals, organizations, and businesses who support land use decisions that can deliver more abundant, diverse and affordable housing options to Portland residents. Prior to joining 1000 Friends, Madeline worked for Orange Splot LLC, a small housing development company and general contractor, and for the City of Portland Bureau of Planning & Sustainability. Madeline also brings over a decade of experience in entrepreneurial nonprofit fundraising, organizing, and leadership gained predominantly through her work with the youth climate movement.
Javier Mena, Portland Housing Authority, brings unique private/public sector background and on-the-job experience to this position. He has served as PHB’s interim Assistant Housing Director since August. Since joining PHB in July 2010, Javier contributed to the Bureau as the Asset Manager. He brought leadership to his team and oversaw a streamlining of processes, resulting in more efficiency. In his new role, Javier will continue to strengthen relationships with our partners, contribute to our Equity Agenda and continue to merge our Bureau’s objectives to better serve our partners and leverage resources.
Rob Justus, Home First. Rob founded JOIN in 1992, an organization to support the efforts of homeless individuals and families to transition out of homelessness into permanent housing. JOIN focused on individuals sleeping outside in the Portland Metro area and launched "housing first" as a model for helping transition people into housing. Rob has a long history working with nonprofits and church communities around the issues of homeless and housing. In 2007, Justus co-founded Home First Development, a company aimed at “building affordable housing for low-income people affordably,” thereby keeping costs low and passing savings on to residents. Home First will break ground on 255 units in 2017.
Coffee and breakfast goodies sponsored by Oregonians Credit Union. Facility sponsored by Adventist Health.
Directions: Today we will be meeting on the Lower Level of the Pavilion. Please use the Pavilion's main entrance, go down the stairs and turn right down the hallway, or go down the elevator and turn left down the hallway. You will see a Chamber sign outside the door. Adventist Pavilion Map