Outsiders may think of Portland as its caricature on the comedy series “Portlandia,” and picture great coffee, upscale restaurants, and a downtown boom.
But underneath that, Portland’s wrestling with something many cities face when they grow: How to remain affordable.
The S&P/Case-Schiller Portland Home Price Index.
What’s different in Portland, compared to the rest of the United States, is the law. Oregon is one of two states that doesn’t require developers to set aside affordable housing when they build.
In the past, housing argued against proposed laws to include affordable housing requirements.
Jon Chandler, the CEO of the Oregon Homebuilder’s Association, spoke recently with The Oregonian, a newspaper based in the area.
He didn’t think politicians were invested in changing the law, “They’re very serious about being seen fixing it, but they don’t get serious about actually doing it.”
There’s another view in Portland, which is 76 percent white, that much of this is about race.
“Even now you’re looking at that ‘Portlandia’ image, about how I’m a sober cycling vegan,” says community activist Cameron Whitten. “There is that image that people come here for … and at the same time, I’ve seen erasure. I’ve seen actual invisibility and silence of these communities that have been marginalized. That have identities that have not been celebrated in the same way that we’ve celebrated all these other things about Portland.”
We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.
Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.
In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.
Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.