Everyone in Gresham should have a home and be able to stay in it. We all deserve the stability of predictable housing that we can afford at all stages of our lives. That means we need to ensure that Gresham has housing for recent high school graduates, young families, established professionals, and seniors.
Protection and Support for our Seniors. Creating a Senior Ombudsman position in the City to advocate for housing options and other services so seniors who choose to can stay in their homes or downsize while remaining in the community.
First Time Homeownership Programs to help people invest in their future and Gresham’s future. The City can do more to connect residents to existing programs for first-time homeowners that reduce interest rates, waive fees, and reduce down payments. The average age in our city is under 40, which means we have a large pool of potential homeowners. Homeownership continues to be one of the best ways to achieve economic stability and build wealth, which studies have shown increases investments in the community by spurring business, property improvements, and civic participation.
Building Housing that Fits our Budgets. We have an opportunity to build and restore homes to create affordable housing options in Oregon with the current Affordable Housing Bond of $652.8 million. We need a city council willing to advocate and show leadership to ensure those dollars are invested in Gresham, where we need it most.
An Emergency Housing Fund that helps people stay in their homes when the unexpected happens, like a large healthcare expense. It is much more cost-efficient in both the short- and long-term to help people stay in their homes by providing temporary assistance with rent, mortgage, or utility bill shortfalls than to provide all the social services associated with homelessness.
Property Tax Reform to protect homeowners. In Oregon, 70% of the state’s revenue comes from individuals, and at the local level, more and more funding asks are falling on the shoulders of homeowners. As your elected leader, I will actively work for common-sense property tax reform that takes into account household incomes so that those on fixed incomes do not risk losing their homes due to increases in property taxes.
Fair Treatment for Renters in our community. Nearly half of the residents of Gresham are renters. Recently, one of our local librarians, despite having a good job, was made homeless for months by an unexpected 300% rent increase. We need laws that protect renters and are still fair to landlords. When we have a transparent and accountable process for handling grievances and protections from unjust evictions or unmanageable rent increases, renters and landlords will both win.