1. Sal Kadri voted against a resolution which supported the discredited and abhorrent public policy of unlimited neighborhood concentration of public housing. (To her credit, PDC Commissioner Bertha Ferran also voted against it.)
2. Sal Kadri tasked PDC staff to gather information by neighborhood on the location of all public housing clients that are subsidized and administered by any government agency within PDC's area of influence. (This has the potential to have far reaching and dramatic consequences.)
The Portland Development Commission was confronted with three salient points during testimony on the resolution which would provide about 162 million dollars of public moneys for both public housing and affordable housing projects in nine Urban Renewal Areas.
1. Public housing and affordable housing are not the same. Public Housing = Means Test + Government Subsidy + Rental Agreement. Despite the fact that the term "affordable" housing is used 19 times in the resolution and the term "public housing" is not mentioned at all, approximately 111 million dollars - that's 68% - is destined for Public Housing. PDC and all other governments and agencies must be mindful and cautious to use the correct terms to avoid confusion and outright deception when communicating with the public. The use of misleading and incorrect language to obscure intent is clearly unacceptable and now out in the open. Everyone who talks about this resolution must address the "public housing" versus "affordable housing" issue.
2. The discredited and abhorrent public housing policy of unlimited neighborhood concentration of public housing is front and center of the debate on this resolution.
3. The total lack of authentic and sufficient statistical data on which to justify the public housing expenditures in this resolution demand that public housing location information be gathered for future decision making and that all funds in this resolution destined for the public housing component, approximately 111 million dollars, be removed from consideration.
These genies are out of the bottle and there will be no putting them back.
As Sal Kadri and Bertha Ferran deserve praise, so Mark Rosenbaum, Charles Wilhoite and John Mohlis deserve scorn and ridicule for their demonstrable public record of commitment to the discredited and abhorrent public policy of unlimited neighborhood concentration of public housing.
The Portland City Council will receive this resolution in about a month. City commissioners should take heed of the arguments presented to the PDC and act accordingly by removing all of the TIF funds allocated to public housing, about 111 million, lest they too be permanently scarred by voting for a resolution which is a demonstrable and deplorable commitment to the discredited and abhorrent public policy of unlimited neighborhood concentration of public housing.
Richard Ellmyer, Community activist, Publisher of HAP Watcher commentary http://www.goodgrowthnw.org, President of MacSolutions Inc.