Portland is renowned for its neighborhoods, business districts, natural resources and more. But the character of our communities is defined by its people. Displacement occurs when people and businesses are priced out of homes and shops, and when residents’ choices for where to live and congregate are limited by what they can afford.
The challenge of displacement is not unique to Portland or our region, but our response to it can be. We need to do better so that more community members are not priced out of their homes or businesses. By partnering in new and innovative ways with the communities most impacted by the challenge, we can.
The Anti-Displacement Action Plan will develop and coordinate strategies for the City to minimize and mitigate the harm faced by vulnerable communities because of Portland’s growth, development, and public investments. Staff will research and evaluate the existing programs and tools that directly or indirectly address involuntary displacement of residents, businesses, and other community cultural assets, as well as look at best and promising practices and programs found in other cities.
As a basis for the project, staff have prepared a foundation report that provides an understanding of City’s approach to date, as well as some ideas for future efforts. Read the report:
In collaboration with the community anti-displacement coalition, BPS will co-create and convene a series of community workshops focused on land use opportunities and priorities for achieving more equitable outcomes. These workshops will inform both the broader framework, build relationships, and result in specific recommendations for BPS priorities and work.
During the second phase of the project, a community/City co-created task force comprised of community members, cross-bureau City leadership and others, will use the framework to recommend programmatic and policy improvements to City Council. They will help hold the City accountable for existing equitable development, anti-displacement efforts and establish a framework to prioritize COVID-19 related infrastructure spending to improve outcomes for our most vulnerable residents.
As the City of Portland continues to understand and acknowledge the impacts of racially exclusionary zoning and land use practices, inequitable investments in infrastructure, and policy decisions that have had unintended but negative outcomes for many in our community, we must not repeat past mistakes. We need to take strong steps to redress past harmful actions.
The health and economic impacts of COVID-19 and shutdown have served to highlight how existing disparities can be a matter of life and death. The benefits of the city’s growth and change are not equitably shared across communities – perpetuating and exacerbating past harms. Rising housing costs and rents have resulted in significant displacement for low-income households, renters, small businesses and communities of color. In particular, Portland’s African American community has experienced, and continues to experience, severe displacement.
With the 2035 Comprehensive Plan, the City established equity as a guiding principle for land use decisions. The Comp Plan also features numerous policies to help combat the displacement of low-income residents and communities of color, which were developed with guidance from a coalition of community-based organizations called Anti-Displacement PDX (ADPDX).
BPS is partnering with the anti-displacement community coalition to co-design a series of community workshops, beginning in fall 2021, focused on land use opportunities and priorities for achieving more equitable outcomes.
More information and schedule coming soon.
For more information, visit the project home page.