What is Oregon Ballot Measure 102?

A public forum discussing Oregon Ballot Measure 102 held in Springfield, Sept. 20, 2018. (SBG)

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. -- Potential voters visited a public forum Thursday to learn more about a bond measure coming up for vote in November.

"We are stretching every dollar we can, and this would give us one more way to stretch dollars further," said Alison McIntosh with Neighborhood Partnerships, referring to Bond Measure 102, the subject of a public discussion in Springfield.

If voters say "yes" to the measure in November, it would allow cities like Springfield and Eugene to hold public votes on whether bond measures can be used to fund private, affordable housing - something that's currently against the state constitution.

"If it were adopted, I think it would certainly be to the advantage of Springfield," Springfield City Club secretary Len Goodwin said. "There are a number of projects that are sort of on the drawing boards that haven't really moved forward because of the challenge of finding funding."

So why is additional funding necessary? After all, projects like the Myrtlewood in Springfield have already been built and federal tax exemptions exist for these kinds of projects. But supporters say this is only a fraction of what could be done with bond revenue in play.

"One out of every four applications in communities across our state actually receives these dollars from the federal government," said McIntosh. "If we're able to pair local bond dollars with other types of financing and resources, we can make those dollars go further and build more affordable housing that we really desperately need."

Although opposing panelists invited by Springfield City Club never showed up, Goodwin encourages all community members to hear from both sides before November.

"It's very important that people try to learn about this and the other measures, and it's vitally important that they get out and put the ballots in the mail, make sue they cast their ballot."

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