In the first use of an affordable housing bond approved by voters in November, Portland’s Housing Bureau received city council permission in early December to execute a $47-million purchase of 263 garden-style townhouse units on nearly 11 acres in Northeast Portland’s Madison South neighborhood. The bureau plans on using $37 million in bond funds to purchase the Ellington Apartments at 1610 N.E. 66th Avenue, renovate the complex and provide at least 80 units of housing for low-income families at or below 30 percent of the area median income of $57,900 – or currently $22,050 for a family of four.
The Ellington Apartments are bounded on the north by the Rose City Golf Course; on the east, along Northeast 67th Avenue, by the Binford Apartments and retail property; on the west, along Northeast 65th Avenue, by the backyards of single family homes; and on the south, along Northeast Halsey Street, by the Tuff Shed warehouse.
Commissioner Dan Saltzman, who oversees the housing bureau, said the proposed purchase would benefit low-income families. “Acquiring this property will help us meet two goals of the Affordable Housing Bond – preventing displacement and providing much-needed, deeply-affordable housing for Portland families. We are grateful to Portland voters for giving us this essential resource to help stabilize more Portland families.”
Housing bureau director Kurt Creager pointed out that 95 percent of the units are sized to accommodate families. “The Ellington has more family-sized housing and larger units than anything currently being offered or developed in the private market. The number of two- and three-bedroom units gives us an uncommon opportunity to serve more than 250 families with children in a great location with transit options and nearby parks.”
TriMet’s Line 77-Broadway/Halsey provides frequent service between Northwest Portland and Troutdale and Normandale Park is a half-mile to the west.