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Category: Analysis

“H.O.P.E.” Explained – Diverting Money from Builders to Landlords?

A last-minute emergency plan to move funds earmarked for affordable housing construction towards housing subsidies for those still in the encampments sparks controversy ahead of the Feb. 5 City Council Meeting. How ought the President’s windfall funds be spent? Should the city subsidize demand, or supply? Should the city hire its own staff, or work through nonprofits? Read about H.O.P.E., the optimistically-named endeavor at the center of all these questions.


What are the Amendments to Order 68?

Since our explanatory article on the controversial Order 68 last week, Councilors Rodriguez and Trevorrow have submitted three separate amendments to the City Council’s agenda which alter – subtly but significantly – the body and impact of Order 68. This proposal, which would legalize camping in public spaces for the homeless this winter, will be voted on this evening by the council. If you’re following this story in detail, you’ll want to know all the detailed changes proposed.


What is Order 68?

Councilors Rodriguez and Trevorrow have proposed a controversial amendment to Portland’s Code of Ordinances which would legalize camping in public places until May 2024. How, specifically, does this work? Can I trust what I heard online? What do experts have to say about the subject?


Portland Deal with Minor League Soccer Club – What Residents Should Know

On Monday, November 13th, Portland’s City Council will vote on whether to authorize a deal with the United Soccer League to bring a Division III team to Portland, and house them in Fitzpatrick Stadium. The costs and benefits are complex, and ought to be weighed carefully by residents and their representatives. A source familiar with the subject, B. Biederbecke, has broken down some of the most pertinent points for Portlanders to know, and offered his own perspective on the deal.


Rent Control in Portland Today

Before one can consider the merits of this November’s Question A, once again asking Portland voters to amend the rent control ordinance, voters must have a firm grasp on the current rent control ordinance. Ashley Keenan, in what shouldn’t be anything new to long-time Townsman readers, updates our guide to the ordinance for autumn. If you’ve ever wondered about our rent control – but been too afraid to ask – wait no longer.

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The Current State of Referendum Reform

If you missed the city council’s first workshop, if you don’t understand the debate, or if you want to know what you may be voting on in November, read on. Chapter 9 of the city code, which governs the rules around citizen referenda, is being reformed by the City Council and Mayor Snyder, and will be going to the voters. Learn the lay of the land and see what changes will be on the ballot.


Rent Control – Everything You Need to Know for the June Referendum

Portland’s rent control ordinance, enacted by referendum in 2020 and amended by referendum in 2022, is again on the ballot for amendment by popular vote this June. How does the ordinance work now, and what is being proposed? How does it compare to the pending rent control ordinance in South Portland, or with other cities? What do experts say about rent control, and who stands to benefit?