The growth in jobs and income isn’t reaching us all. But we all feel the impacts of growth: transportation gridlock, loss of open space, and more and more families experiencing homelessness or at risk of losing their homes.
In my own neighborhood off Southeast Division Street, I’ve seen these opportunities and challenges firsthand. Our investments in pocket parks and safety improvements for biking, walking, and taking transit that preserve what I love about this place in the face of growth. But there is still work to do.
We’ve heard residents across our region consistently rank affordable housing, improved transportation, and protecting nature among their top priorities. Metro is working on all three at once, to help our region get ahead of growth.
This month, the Metro Council provided preliminary approval of housing bond funding for the Mary Ann, a four story, 54-unit affordable development in Beaverton, the first investment of bonds approved by voters last November that will provide housing for about 12,000 people over the next decade. The Mary Ann, which could break ground next year, addresses the primary issues the housing bond is intended to target – creating family-sized units as well as units that are deeply affordable.
Learn more about the housing bond, the oversight committee and sign up to receive updates.
At the same time, the Council has convened two task forces of community leaders. The Parks and Nature stakeholder table is advising us on a proposal to grow Metro’s Parks and Nature program to protect more land and streams and to serve more people without increasing Metro’s current tax rate for park and nature bonds. We want you to learn about the proposal we’re considering for November 2019 and add your voice to the discussion, so please visit the parks and nature webpage to learn more details and provide feedback about your priorities in a survey that will launch later this month.
The second advisory group, the T2020 Task Force, will study ways to make moving around our region safer, more reliable and more efficient. It will also consider ways to fund transportation investments to deliver those results. Watch for more about this 2020 Transportation Funding Task Force over the year ahead.
I’m excited about this work and I’ll continue to post about it. We need everyone’s help on these three initiatives. I invite you to send me your thoughts and questions at [email protected].