Portland’s long-term growth plan could take on gentrification, following Tuesday night’s vote at the city planning commission.
Mayor Charlie Hales and Commissioner Steve Novick joined anti-displacement advocates at a press conference Wednesday in support of 11 policy proposals. New projects, from transit to condo development, could trigger analysis of their effect on local residents.
Among the mitigation steps are community land trusts, which could hold properties to keep them affordable.
The 11 policy proposals include:
- Focus community involvement more on low income residents and communities of color
- Analyze and anticipate displacement and housing affordability when new developments are built
- Require plans to reduce or mitigate displacement as much as possible
- Promote “community benefits” agreements between neighborhoods and developers to reduce displacement
- Capture increased value created by developments to fund measures that keep people in their neighborhoods
- Add emphasis on “permanently affordable” models of homeownership
- Use innovative property ownership methods, such as a community land trust or land banks, to acquire property and keep it affordable
- Create permanently-affordable housing in market-rate developments
- Tenant protections, such as rights education and incentives that protect renters
- Growth and development plans should help displaced residents move back to their historic neighborhoods
- Implement anti-displacement measures in the city’s mixed-use zones, such as residential-commercial neighborhoods
Equity advocate Cat Goughnour said the policies would help lift people out of poverty.
“You’re creating more thriving communities. It reduces health burdens, trauma, different things of that nature,” said Goughnour. “Currently, low-income people are bearing the burdens of development. I think making it more equitable is the important thing.”
City leaders said the proposals in the comprehensive plan aren’t enough. They’d like to see state law changed, to allow rent control and affordable housing mandates for new development.