By Lars Larson
A new housing project in Portland known as “72 Foster,” that’s supposed to address the current housing crisis. Instead, it’s proof positive that government subsidies not only don’t fix the problem, they make it worse.
The city of Portland is contributing $5 million of the $21 million dollar project which will build 108 apartments in the Lents neighborhood. This is Portland’s idea of “affordable” housing, which means units will be rented to folks who make about half the median income. That means housing at a price well above $150,000 per unit.
Lents is the same neighborhood where developer Rob Justus finished 80 units last fall at about half that price, without government subsidies and the crazy rules that come with subsidies. Justus can afford to rent his units at about $700 per month.
The government subsidized units, at double the cost should rent for more, but they’ll be rented to the poor who can’t pay that much. So the taxpayers are on the hook for the initial subsidy and will likely have to pay some of the rent through more subsidies.
The Rob Justus project proves the private sector can deliver affordable housing without subsidy. 72 Foster proves the government will subsidize all of us straight into the poor house.
Rob Justus joined me on the show to talk about his housing plan. Listen to the full interview below.