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SW Corridor Equitable Housing Strategy: Ensuring the benefits of a multi-billion-dollar light rail investment are available to everybody

Over the next 25 years, the SW corridor, located on and near Barbur Boulevard, will experience a lot of the region’s development growth.

But it is currently underserved by transit. So investments in light rail will provide a reliable and affordable way to get to existing and future jobs, educational opportunities, as well as more places to live along the corridor.

The cities of Portland and Tigard, along with Metro, have partnered with the community to create an Equitable Housing Strategy. This is intended to preserve and create more housing opportunities for households of all types and incomes.

To ensure the SW Corridor is a place of opportunity for all, we need to bring public and private partners together to achieve our common goals around housing affordability and choice. — Mayor Ted Wheeler

The Housing Strategy will identify steps to address displacement of existing residents, as well as build new affordable housing in the corridor. The project will set housing targets for the corridor, explore how to raise additional resources for affordable housing, and identify who will be accountable to meet the targets.

The project also includes working with groups like the Community Alliance of Tenants and OPAL to organize tenants in the corridor.

“When making major public infrastructure investments,” says Project Manager Ryan Curren, “We’ve learned the hard way that it’s necessary for the public sector to get ahead of the market forces behind gentrification to avoid displacement of low-income people and communities of color. Now we have a chance to put these lessons into practice in our community.”