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Portland Considers Loans To Build ADUs To Help Stem Gentrification

This basement in a Northeast Portland home was recently remodeled as an accessible dwelling unit.

This basement in a Northeast Portland home was recently remodeled as an accessible dwelling unit.

Jim Heuer/Courtesy of Kol Peterson

The city of Portland might help long-term North and Northeast Portland homeowners build “granny flats” or accessory dwelling units, to help lower-income people — particularly African-Americans — stay in their homes.

Details are still being hashed out, but the city has discussed loans to homeowners to finance the conversion of their basements into separate dwelling units. Homeowners could rent those accessory dwelling units to earn more income, or move into the ADUs and rent out the rest of their homes, says Kurt Creager, Portland Housing Bureau director.

The idea is one component of the city’s grand strategy to stem gentrification in inner North and Northeast Portland and right some of the wrongs committed over several decades, when thousands of low-income people, particularly African-Americans, were displaced by a series of improvement projects.

The Albina area of inner North and Northeast Portland, the historic heart of Portland’s African-American community, was in the path of least resistance — and cheapest land to condemn — when it came time to site and build Interstate 5 and Memorial Coliseum and expand Emanuel Hospital, though that expansion was later canceled. Property values in the area later skyrocketed, resulting in more displacement and gentrification, after creation of the city’s Interstate Corridor Urban Renewal Area built around the new Interstate MAX line.

Read more at Pamplin Media.


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