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Portland City Council Builds Apartment. And Then?

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

 Headwaters Apartments: Portland-owned property exempt from taxes but open to residents making $97,200

   – Brad Schmidt, The Oregonian/OregonLive

…The city-owned [Headwaters] apartments have everything a needy resident could dream of: …a good grocery store…

But Headwaters wasn’t designed for the needy. Most residents…can afford to live just about anywhere they want…

  • Though the city lacks enough housing for its poorest residents, leaders chose to spend $14.7 million in public money to build the 100-unit Headwaters for middle-income “work force” residents.
  • The Headwaters Apartments are exempt from property taxes. That means Multnomah County taxpayers subsidize rents…to the tune of $100,000 in lost revenue a year…

Headwaters would be risky because it required charging “significantly higher rents than existing vicinity area properties,”…

Units feature Energy Star appliances…and free organic coffee

…Headwaters’ $1.2 million a year in revenue is barely enough to cover debt and operating expenses…

We Respond & Your Comments

Predictable. Right? The brainiacs who run Portland brought their real estate development skills to the real life market. Their “mission”? Create working class housing that would turn a profit and fuel development of housing for the needy.

The result? Over priced apartments whose only market is renters well off enough to afford most any housing. So few of them chose the city owned digs that now the Portland City Council Einsteins will be lucky to break even.

The lesson? Leave real estate (and most everything else) to the people who make a living off doing it in the private market.

Oh, well. It wasn’t their money they scorched.

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