Coalition seeks more affordable housing, less displacement

The Portland Planning and Sustainability Commission agreed last week to start adding a series of provisions to the city’s comprehensive land-use plan to ward off the ill effects of gentrification.

Many of the provisions were proposed by an ad hoc coalition of 22 community groups now called Anti-Displacement PDX. The coalition proposed an 11-point plan aimed at preventing the further displacement of low-income residents and people of color from their neighborhoods due to gentrification, and pushing the city to provide more affordable housing.

As the planning and sustainability commissioners started taking up the provisions one by one, members of the 22 groups cheered and shared cake to celebrate their triumph.

The coalition includes Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon (APANO), Bradley Angle, Center for Intercultural Organizing, Community Alliance of Tenants, Community Cycling Center, Community of Practice, Design+Culture Lab, Groundwork Portland, Housing Land Advocates, Living Cully, North/Northeast Neighbors for Housing Affordability, Portland African American Leadership Forum (PAALF), Radix Consulting Group, Right 2 Dream Too, Right 2 Survive, Portland Harbor Community Coalition, Rose Community Development, 1000 Friends of Oregon, OPAL Environmental Justice Oregon, Oregon Opportunity Network, Upstream Public Health and Urban League of Portland.

The Planning and Sustainability Commission will continue reviewing comprehensive plan amendments on gentrification and other topics at its next session in July. Once the panel approves the comp plan rewrite, the Portland City Council then will schedule a series of public hearings and work sessions.

The state of Oregon set a July deadline for the city to update its comp plan. Now it’s clear the city will not make that deadline, says Eric Engstrom, the city’s principal planner.

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