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PORTLAND-This city’s development arm this week was given authority to develop and own moderate-income rental housing as a way to generate income for more low-income housing developments.

Under a new program approved by the city council this week, the Portland Development Commission is authorized to issue up to $25 million in tax exempt bonds to finance development. The city is required to own the units until the bonds are paid off, but can and will outsource their management.

The dollars will be enough to develop approximately two projects. The money can be spent anywhere in the city unlike some city programs that require money to be spent in urban renewal districts. There is no timeline for development at this time, and which city-owned properties would be developed is not yet being discussed.

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