Metro’s affordable housing investments seek to serve groups who are not well served by the private housing market. This includes Black, Indigenous and other people of color, families with children and multiple generations living together, people with disabilities, seniors, veterans and people experiencing houselessness or at risk of houselessness or displacement. This means building affordable homes near transportation, jobs, schools, parks and other amenities. And it means making good use of public dollars by building accessible homes where affordability lasts for generations, remaining accountable to taxpayers through community oversight.
Leading with racial equity means Metro’s regional investments create affordable homes in places where BIPOC communities live today to ensure they have opportunities for stability. Righting the wrongs of the past means creating affordable homes in historically Black neighborhoods so those who were displaced have the opportunity to return.
Increasing the stock of affordable housing, and ensuring this new housing is equitably distributed to those who need it most, is a crucial part of remedying the history of harm to Black communities and other oppressed groups. Affordable housing is needed because, due to systemic inequity, thousands of people throughout the region have not been and are still not able to access education, income, health, wealth building and other necessities to thrive in their lives and in the private housing market.
Metro advances racial equity through:
- the bond’s intentional focus on deep affordability (1,600 homes for people with incomes at 30% of area median income or less – 40% of all homes to be created through the program)
- the bond’s focus on family size homes (1,950 units with two or more bedrooms – half of all homes to be created)
- eliminating barriers to access (fair housing marketing, low barrier screening)
- ensuring access to culturally specific and culturally responsive management practices, programming and services
- geographically distributing housing opportunities and locating housing in places that provide access to public transit and opportunities
- creating business and workforce opportunities and ensuring at least 20% of these go to women and minority-owned businesses
In collaboration with community members, Metro identified best practices for advancing racial equity in affordable housing, a resource for implementing jurisdictions, developers, contractors, property managers and other partners.
This document builds on goals laid out in the below: