We speak with Matthew Charles Cardinale, a Portland-based housing advocate, about an ordinance for Affordable Housing Impact Statements that he has presented to Multnomah County. The model ordinance for Affordable Housing Impact Statements would require the County to prepare an impact statement for any policy decision impacting the affordable housing stock in Multnomah County. Cardinale--who has made a series of public comments before the Board of Commissioners regarding the model ordinance over the course of the last three months--called on Multnomah County to become the first U.S. County to adopt the Model Ordinance.
Chairwoman Deborah Kafoury and her staff have expressed interest in the proposal and have been working with Cardinale to discuss how it could potentially be implemented in Multnomah County. Cardinale has also been working with Portland City Commissioner Nick Fish on the same proposal.
With Affordable Housing Impact Statements, County Commissioners and citizens would benefit from having critical information about the estimated impact of every proposed policy decision on the County’s affordable housing stock. This information would be available at the time those decisions are made, and can be looked back upon as an accountability tool.
Cardinale wrote the Model Ordinance as a law student at Gonzaga University, and it was adopted by the City of Atlanta, Georgia, in November 2015. Legislation is currently pending in Los Angeles, New Orleans, Pittsburgh, and Albany.
The Model Ordinance was recently featured in an article by the Stanford Social Innovation Review.
Cardinale recently co-founded SMART ALEC, a progressive alternative to the corporate lobbying group ALEC. (State and Municipal Action for Results Today / Agenda for Legislative Empowerment and Collaboration)