$20 Million Proposal to Address Displacement in North/Northeast Portland Will Go Before City Council
City Council Presentation and Press Conference to Announce N/NE Neighborhood Housing Strategy Recommendations.
On Wednesday, the Portland Housing Bureau (PHB) and community partners will unveil recommendations for the "N/NE Neighborhood Housing Strategy," a $20 million affordable housing initiative to address displacement and gentrification in North and Northeast Portland.
Wednesday's presentation will be the culmination of a process that began early last year, following community concerns that commercial development along the Interstate Corridor was pricing longtime residents — particularly people of color — out of their homes. Mayor Charlie Hales and Commissioner Dan Saltzman earmarked an additional $20 million dollars for affordable housing in the area. On Wednesday, City Council will hear recommendations for how to invest those funds and vote on whether to accept the plan. PHB developed the strategies it will propose following a three-month public process to gather input from hundreds of community members impacted by or at risk of displacement.
The media are invited to a press event immediately following the Council presentation.
WHEN: Wednesday, January 28. Council presentation begins at 2pm. Media Q & A begins at 3pm.
WHO: Commissioner Dan Saltzman, Portland Housing Bureau Director Traci Manning, Bishop Steven Holt
WHERE: Portland City Hall, 1221 SW 4th Ave, Portland OR 97204 - Council Chambers;
Media Q & A will follow in the Lovejoy Room, 2nd floor
WHY: Over the last two decades, steep increases in housing prices throughout North and Northeast Portland have displaced many low-income residents and community-serving small businesses. As affordable housing options in the area have dwindled, longtime residents have had to settle farther and farther outside of the city, where sidewalks, grocery stores, and access to public transit are limited. The impacts of these events have been felt most deeply among Portland's communities of color, who experience involuntary displacement at a disproportionately high rate. Less than two decades ago, the neighborhoods that comprise inner North and Northeast Portland were home to the highest concentration of African American residents anywhere in the city—or in the state. Although decades of segregation had once confined them there, community will had also given rise to a vibrant cultural center, with African American businesses, churches, and other cultural institutions. City efforts during the 1990s to address increasing crime and blight in the area brought about profound neighborhood transformations, but left many longtime residents with fewer and fewer affordable housing options. By 2010, the percentage of African Americans in the total population of North/Northeast Portland had fallen by more than half. Addressing this history of displacement and its impact on communities of color was a top PHB priority in developing a community process to shape the housing plan.