The City of Portland has launched a new program to mitigate and prevent displacement among East Portland homeowners at risk for flooding and rising insurance premiums.
As many as 800 households in the Lents and Powellhurst-Gilbert neighborhoods could be facing substantial financial and environmental risk from the Johnson Creek floodplain, according to the latest estimates. As mandatory flood insurance premiums continue to rise each year (up to 18%), some area homeowners face the prospect of economic displacement. Even with flood insurance, flood damaged homes can be difficult to repair. At the same time, property values decrease, impacting investment in the area, and leaving low- and moderate-income homeowners vulnerable to predatory real estate practices.
Beginning in June, the Portland Housing Bureau (PHB) is piloting a new Flood Insurance Savings Program to help a limited number of low- to moderate-income homeowners in Lents and Powellhurst-Gilbert reduce their flood hazard insurance premiums, identify opportunities to make home improvements, and increase their resiliency to flood risks.
This program comes as the result of efforts underway in the Governor-designated “Lents Stabilization and Job Creation Collaborative” Oregon Solutions project, and leverages a unique partnership between the City of Portland and the local non-profit, Enhabit. Through elevation surveys and in-home assessments, Enhabit will determine the unique flood risks facing each home as well as the necessary improvements to improve its resiliency against flooding.