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Last January, the Portland Housing Bureau (PHB) launched the N/NE Neighborhood Housing Strategy, a housing plan to begin to address the legacy of involuntary displacement in North and Northeast Portland. To ensure the highest level of accountability to the community, an Oversight Committee of community members was formed and charged by Portland City Council with the role of overseeing the implementation of the Strategy, and reporting to City Council annually on the success of PHB and its contractors in accomplishing the plan's established goals. Wednesday’s presentation will be the first report from the Committee on those efforts.
“I am very hopeful that this effort is going to make real, lasting and positive difference in peoples’ lives,” says Committee Chair Bishop Steven Holt. “We know all too well how many times people who are less represented have been relocated with little concern for them and the impact that it has on community. Portland’s history speaks to this. However, we are now involved in something that is turning this around. The Oversight Committee is committed to units on the ground, families in those units, and a healthy community to support it.”
In the last year, PHB has provided home retention support to 77 N/NE Portland households, developed a preference policy to prioritize displaced households for programming, and began pre-development on 81 affordable new apartments through the Strategy, which was developed with the input of more than 450 community members, as well as dozens of area faith leaders and community leaders.
“Taking on displacement in North and Northeast Portland has called on us as a city to recognize a painful history, where community members didn’t have a voice in decisions that would impact them for generations,” said Commissioner Dan Saltzman, who, with Mayor Charlie Hales, dedicated the $20 million in 2014 in response to a call from community leaders for investments to prevent further displacement. “I am grateful to Bishop Holt and the members of this committee for their service, and for this opportunity to look back with them on where we’ve been able to make an impact in the last year, and where we have more work to do.”
Click here for a list of Committee members and to read the full report.