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Sat Jan 6, 2018, 11:05 PM

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler defends decision to invest in pricey affordable housing complex

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler called his decision to spend public money on a pricey but innovative housing project in the Pearl District a good example of tapping private and federal resources to increase Portland's affordable housing supply.

The mayor released a statement Thursday defending the project and calling the city's $6 million investment in the $29 million housing complex "modest." Portland City Council candidate Jo Ann Hardesty, however, told Willamette Week that the investment does not make sense for addressing a housing crisis.

Willamette Week wrote in a Wednesday story that the mayor's decision ignored Portland Housing Bureau cost guidelines and defied his campaign promise to spend less per square foot to produce more units.

Portland Housing Bureau spokeswoman Martha Calhoon told The Oregonian/OregonLive in an email Thursday that the cost guidelines serve as "preference criteria, rather than a requirement." She said the bureau's solicitations have "always" contained preference for leveraging other financial resources.

Read more: http://www.oregonlive.com/politics/index.ssf/2018/01/portland_mayor_ted_wheeler_def.html

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