Thanks for your informative and provocative series on the affordability of housing in Portland (“Welcome to Portland – No Vacancy”). I’ll be interested to read your conclusions on how to address these huge problems.

I noted that you have only discussed rental housing, but want to mention that there are solid, affordable homeownership opportunities for low- to middle-income families. One path is through Habitat for Humanity.

According to the J. Ronald Terwilliger Foundation’s recent report, “The Silent Housing Crisis,” the national homeownership rate is at a 22-year low of 64.7 percent, and the dream of ownership is out of reach for far too many.

Nineteen million families now spend more than 50 percent of their income on housing, and 40 million more spend over 30 percent, the limit to what is thought to be affordable. That means that 59 million rental families – 44 percent of all Americans – have no opportunity for savings and economic advancement.

Here’s what Habitat for Humanity does: As opposed to subsidized rentals, we provide an affordable mortgage so that no family’s monthly housing payment exceeds 30 percent of their income. Owning a Habitat home is generally less costly than renting.

Godfrey Wood

executive director, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Portland