The Southwest Corridor will experience some of the Portland Metro region’s highest growth over the next 25 years. 75,000 new residents are estimated to live in the SW Corridor by 2035 – in Portland, Tigard and Tualatin. The area is expected to receive a multibillion-dollar transit investment, which will attract additional private and public investments, more jobs and businesses, improved community services, and housing choices.
As the region plans for a light rail line from Downtown Portland to Bridgeport Village, the cities of Portland and Tigard, along with Metro, developed an Equitable Housing Strategy for this major transportation corridor. The strategy will help ensure that homes along the new transit line meet the needs of households of different sizes and incomes. It will also support the cities’ and regional efforts to leverage a major public transit project with housing policies and investments so all people – regardless of race, ethnicity, family status or disability – have a range of affordable choices of where to live.
The Equitable Housing Strategy is a joint effort between the cities of Portland and Tigard, nested within Metro’s SW Equitable Development Strategy. It was informed significantly by an advisory group of leaders from government, community development, finance, philanthropy and real estate development sectors. These valuable partners provided leadership as recommendations were developed and vetted through an inclusive planning process that reflected the diversity of voices in the corridor and region.
There are two main goals of the EHS:
- Lay the groundwork for early actions to prevent displacement, and plan for more housing options and opportunities in the corridor.
- Build capacity in under-represented communities for advocacy and public involvement. This increases the influence of these affected community members on the future of their communities, reducing the impacts of this large regional investment on the most vulnerable populations.
The EHS work also created a SW Community Grants Program to fund community-based partners like Community Alliance of Tenants (CAT), Organizing People/Activating Leaders Environmental Justice Oregon (OPAL), Muslim Educational Trust (MET), Community Partners for Affordable Housing (CPAH) and Unite Oregon (UO) to organize and engage low-income tenants in a capacity-building process related to affordable housing and transit issues.
This effort culminated in May 2018 when a list of Community Solutions was presented by community leaders and CAT to elected leaders:
Tenant leaders and community-based organizations continue to expand engagement and educational activities throughout the corridor today.
The strategy has a minimum goal of 850 affordable homes, along with a 10-year stretch goal for the corridor of 2,300 affordable homes, if new resources are secured. These would be located close to future light rail stations for households with incomes at or below 60 percent median family income. This would include newly constructed homes or existing apartments acquired with public subsidy and those built through inclusionary zoning or other regulatory agreements. Achieving this goal will help increase the geographic distribution of affordable housing in Portland and stabilize many existing households at risk of displacement.
Project steps and timeline
In October 2018, Portland City Council adopted the final resolution for the Southwest Corridor Equitable Housing Strategy. The City of Portland, with funding from Metro, is now beginning to implement the strategy. See the workplan for 2019-2020:
Project contact information
Ryan Curren, BPS Project Manager