by Khanh Pham
Jade Environmental Justice Coordinator
Housing prices in Portland have skyrocketed the past few years, and Portland’s low-income and working class communities, particularly immigrants and communities of color, have found themselves increasingly pushed out to and even beyond the outer edges of the city. Governing magazine recently rated Portland as the fastest-gentrifying city in the country, with over half of the city’s census tracts gentrifying in the space of about a decade.
For the last six months, APANO has been working with Anti-Displacement PDX, a coalition of 30 multi-ethnic organizations, including Living Cully/Verde, Urban League, and 1000 Friends of Oregon. Over the past few months, ADPDX has successfully gotten the Portland Planning and Sustainability Commission to include all 11 anti-displacement measures into Portland’s Comprehensive Plan, which will guide Portland’s development over the next 20 years.
APANO is looking specifically at the Powell-Division Bus Rapid Transit project, which is slated to be built starting in 2018. While we want better transit, we also know that large transit investments can also lead to rising housing prices. APANO is organizing in the Jade District and surrounding neighborhoods to advocate for key investments in affordable housing along the transit corridor to ensure that current residents do not get displaced. This policy of investing in affordable housing along transit corridors is also one of the policy recommendations in the draft Comprehensive Plan!)
You can get involved to support this work. On Thursday, November 19 (1-3pm), join APANO and Anti-Displacement PDX for a short rally and give public testimony at the first City Council public hearing of the Comprehensive Plan. We need your voice to tell Commissioners why stable rent and affordable housing is necessary.
Please contact Khanh Pham at [email protected] if you would like to get involved!