by Travis Mateer
Readers, I’d like to introduce you to a man who’s PORTLAND, OREGON company has been tasked with helping MISSOULA COUNTY develop their affordable housing strategy, John Tapogna.
John is smiling big because his Portland firm, ECONorthwest, inked a contract with Missoula County to develop our strategy for housing. From the link:
The county has already hired a new housing coordinator and in February, it contracted ECONorthwest out of Portland for $30,000 to develop an affordable housing strategy.
The county has a list of goals it expects to find in the final product, which will be developed over the summer by community input and a needs analysis.
“There will be a suite of options,” said Strohmaier. “We’re looking for how we can best use our limited resources in the most impactful, transformation way as possible. Simply trying the same thing and expecting different results isn’t going to get the job done.”
Now, maybe you thought we ALREADY had an affordable housing strategy that took years to develop (and DID NOT include inclusionary zoning).
No, that plan was ONLY for the city of Missoula and has no relevance or bearing whatsoever on the terrain where I live. Obviously when you cross the boundary line from the city into the county you enter a completely different realm, requiring a completely different plan.
And only the experts from Portand, Oregon, can help us. Like Lorelei Juntunen.
While the shit-eating grin may be dialed down, the expertise is not. Here’s some of Lorelei Juntunen’s expertise that Missoula County may benefit from:
Lorelei is a Partner and Project Director specializing in the evaluation of the intersection between public investment and community development. Her recent projects have identified creative approaches to investment in redevelopment and affordable housing for local governments. Many recent projects have focused on implementation of equitable housing outcomes, including development of the State of Oregon’s first Statewide Housing Plan and affordable housing policies for many Oregon communities. Other recent projects include developing a funding strategy for investing in major transportation infrastructure needed to support growth in Bend, Oregon, and identifying new revenue tools to create a sustainable fiscal future for Columbia County, Oregon. Lorelei’s analysis has informed implementation strategies for bringing new private development to Olympia, Washington’s downtown; redeveloping a former industrial property in downtown St. Helens, Oregon; and residential displacement and gentrification in Portland and its suburbs.
I sure feel better about these Portland experts bringing their Portland lived experience to bear on Missoula’s affordable housing crisis. I bet they’ll discover all kinds of amazing things, like how Missoula’s wages are shit, which is also how I would describe our state-wide Medicaid programs, since they’re derived from a low-population state spread out over a vast geographical expanse.
To conclude today’s post, I’ll offer a cost-free analysis you’ll NEVER hear from the experts: Missoula is experiencing the consequences of class warfare, and that asymmetric battle trickles down from central bank policy to the use of Tax Increment Financing.
Because it’s always, ALWAYS all about the money.
Thanks for reading.