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Portland Housing Crisis – Possible Remedies

In a previous post, I discussed the housing issues that Portland is facing with an ever-growing population. Since then, the city has attempted to fix the problem through multiple efforts. Portlanders have had innovative ideas in the past to fix housing deficiencies, such as “Dignity Village,” a temporary living community for the homeless.1. However, a self-governed village for 60 people is hardly enough to compensate for a city in crisis. The city has since enacted a crisis emergency plan to allow increasing flexibility to the homeless, “allowing tent camping during certain hours and overnight car camping in certain church parking lots.”2.

In further response to the crisis, the Oregon Legislature has initiated multiple recent bills that should soon be headed to Governor Kate Brown.3. One of these bills, House Bill 4143, which includes a ban on month-to-month rent increases for the first year and 90-day notifications for rent increases afterwards.4. The stability is hoped to allow those fortunate to be in homes to remain therein. Senate Bill 1533 directs its efforts on certain zoning and construction taxes.5. The reform is hoped to promote the creation of more affordable housing. Further, these taxes from local efforts and intend to allow Portland to fix the problem from within.

One final solution has been proposed by one of Portland’s mayoral candidates, Jules Bailey, who suggests that promoting development is the crucial step for Portland to take.6. Specifically, Bailey has called for a “‘fast-track’ for developers looking to build smaller homes or multi-family units that rent or sell to middle-income families.”7. He hopes to do this through giving these developers priority in obtaining building permits. He hopes that this will help combat big investment firms, which he claims are a main culprit of the housing problem.8. The priority of the city, suggests Bailey, is to center on affordable housing.9.

  1. Mimi Zeiger, A Tiny Roof Over One’s Head is Better than None, The Los Angeles Times (Mar. 20, 2016), 

  2. Lisa Loving, Housing Emergency Hits Gresham, The Skanner (Mar. 29, 2016), 

  3. New Laws Could Help Housing Crisis, The News Guard (Mar. 16, 2016), 

  4. Id. 

  5. Id. 

  6. Dave Blanchard, Mayoral Candidate Jules Bailey: ‘Portland is Becoming Unaffordable’, Orgeon Public Broadcasting, (Feb. 24, 2016), 

  7. Id. 

  8. Id. 

  9. Id. 

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