To understand if MUPTE would be a useful tool for affordable housing, one should understand how affordable housing is developed.
There are other tools the City of Eugene uses to construct affordable (subsidized) housing, including the LIRPTE (Low Income Rental Housing Property Tax Exemption) program. Like MUPTE, it offers a property tax exemption for the value of the new housing construction, but over a 20-year period.
Over the past several decades, the City has invested in thousands of units of affordable housing created through partnering agencies like St. Vincent DePaul, HACSA, and Cornerstone Housing. These units are only available to individuals and families typically earning less than 60% of area median income, and the below-market rents typically apply to 100% of the units.
There are currently 680 units of affordable housing in the downtown core area, and HACSA is proposing an additional 50 units. There are approximately 4,600 units of affordable housing throughout Eugene.
To compare MUPTE to existing affordable tools, consider a new apartment complex with 300 units. If 30% are rent-restricted, there will be 90 affordable units. They will maintain affordable rents for 10 years, creating 900 unit-years of affordable housing.
Compare that to a new affordable housing development with 90 units. Those units must maintain their affordable rents for 50 years, so the 50 new units would create 4,500 unit-years. Over the long term, existing affordable housing tools create many more units of affordable housing. Not only do the rents remain affordable for a 50-year period, residents typically receive support services related to job skills, employment opportunities, and health.