Displacement is not a new phenomenon in Portland: Native peoples camped, fished, hunted and gathered foods near and along the Willamette River for millennia before treaties between the tribes and U.S. government in the 1850s forced the resettlement of many to remote reservations. Since its founding, the City of Portland has been a place of separation, exclusion, and widely varying opportunity for different groups of people, often based on the color of their skin.
Displacement has shaped our city as surely as the Vanport flood sent thousands of Black residents in search of housing in Albina, one of the only areas they were not redlined out of. Displacement is not confined to history, however. As the pandemic lays bare these long-standing disparities, it’s clear that one’s economic, physical, and social well-being are still determined by one’s race or ethnic identity.
In the housing market, Portlanders with less money and influence – more likely lower income people of color – are being priced out of their homes as more affluent people move into their neighborhoods and developers build new higher rent apartment buildings.
As housing costs and other expenses continue to rise, we need to prevent further displacement of vulnerable Portlanders, particularly Black and Indigenous communities. We need to do this hand in hand with communities most harmed by past action – or inaction – to create more equitable outcomes and transform the systems that cause harm in the first place.
Getting grounded with the Foundation Report
The Bureau of Planning and Sustainability is supporting community-led efforts to address displacement, starting with a report that provides a foundation for understanding the City’s approach to date, as well as some ideas for future efforts.
The Anti-Displacement Action Plan (ADAP) Foundation Report presents the City of Portland’s current policy framework, analytical tools, and cross-bureau efforts to keep people in their homes as the city grows. It also highlights anti-displacement efforts in other cities that could be useful for Portland.
Read the report:
We encourage community members to dive into the material and sign up for future updates about the City’s anti-displacement efforts. Future workshops for community members, hosted by the Anti-Displacement Coalition with support from BPS, will provide more background and information about displacement in Portland, what is being done to mitigate it so far, and what else can be done in the future to ensure that all people can stay in their homes.