For those interested in Portland's rapid change (and positive ways to steer it in the right direction), check out the Mercury's continuing coverage of housing, rent control, gentrification and more.
HOW TO FIGHT FOR PORTLAND
Portland Is Changing. How Do We Make Sure It Changes in the Right Ways?
by Yume Delegato
"By broaching the subject of gentrification, we've lanced a cultural boil—these pent-up frustrations had to be drained from our psyches. As a native Portlander and now-reluctant suburbanite, this process of complaining and blaming has been as cathartic for me as it's been for everyone else. But much like primal scream therapy or listening to Sia, something needs to come after that catharsis. All this discussion has been good, but now that we've opened up the wound, we can't just let it fester. It's time to stop commiserating and start talking about solutions."
OUT OF CONTROL
Why Rent Control Could Help Portland
by Shelby R. King
"IT'S A WILD-EYED time for tenants in the Portland metro housing market. In 2008, a two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment cost an average of $847. In 2015, the same apartment goes for an average of $1,432—a 69 percent increase.
Local government, civic, and community groups are scrambling to find solutions. Earlier this month, City Club of Portland launched a study seeking ways to increase access to affordable housing. Among the policies being considered: rent control."
HELP IS ON THE WAY?
More affordable housing is on the horizon. Will it be too late?
by Dirk Vanderhart
"While the city's private developers gleefully rush to build enough supply to satisfy the thousands of would-be Portlanders annually swarming into town, there's a fresh awareness that affordable housing is a vital piece of that growth. "The market's kind of crazy right now," Home Forward Director Michael Buonocore told city commissioners at last week's council meeting. 'Affordable housing is our long-term system solution to homelessness.'"
PAY UP OR GET OUT
Uncapped Rent Increases Are Displacing Portland's Most Vulnerable
by Shelby R. King
"PORTLAND RESIDENT Caroline Sojourner signed a lease last year for $750 a month. On August 1, when it's time to renew, that price will jump to $1,087. Sojourner can't afford the $337 a month increase, and says she's been sick with worry that she's going to have to move from her Brooklyn neighborhood apartment. "'I'm not the only one this is happening to,' she says. 'It looks like if I stay in Portland, I'm going to have to move every year because of the constantly rising rents.'"
ONE HULK'S OPINION
Keep Newcomers (Particularly the Avengers) Out of Portland!
by the Incredible Hulk
GRRRRR! HULK SO ANGRY! Captain America just call Avengers team meeting! "We're leaving Avengers Mansion!" Captain America say. "We're moving to Portland!" NOOOOOO! Hulk no want Avengers in Portland! Portland am HULK home! Hulk live in Portland because of laid-back atmosphere and no one make fun of Hulk recumbent bike. Now rest of Avengers live here, too? NOOOOOO!
The Legislature Might Boost Affordable Housing—But Could Leave Out Renters
by Shelby R. King
"HB 2564 only applies to for-sale new construction, a detail which Portland Commissioner Steve Novick recently called 'very troubling.' Commissioner Dan Saltzman, who oversees the Portland Housing Bureau, is floating an amendment to HB 2564 that would add rental units into the mix.
'The bill won't have as much currency for Portland without including multi-family rental developments, since that accounts for 74 percent of new developments in the city,' Saltzman says. 'It's still a good piece of legislation without it, but of all the new rental developments in Portland, almost none include affordable units.'"
NEWSFLASH: NEWBIES AREN'T RUINING PORTLAND
(But Here's Something That Might)
by Wm. Steven Humphrey
"First of all, if you're new to Portland (even within the last few years), WELCOME! As a relative newcomer myself (since 2000), I mean that with the utmost sincerity. New people are great and necessary, because they turn over the garden, remind the rest of us of what the city still lacks, and have a genuine enthusiasm for living here. I only ask newcomers one thing: Bring something to the game."
PRICING OUT PORTLAND'S ARTISTS
Can Portland's Creative Community Survive Development, Price Surge?
by Shelby R. King
"PORTLAND ARTIST Tori Abernathy has been booted from two art studio spaces since 2011. Following her evictions, according to her, the landlord either jacked up the rent for the new tenant or demolished the space. 'It's really easy to talk about people having to move,' she says. 'But now I can really see how displacement destroys cultures and communities.'"
A LEAP OF FAITH
Is $20 Million Enough to Defy History, Fight Gentrification, and Revive the Black Portland that Was?
by Denis C. Theriault
THIS TIME, the smartly dressed Bishop Steven Holt wasn't presiding onstage, clutching a mic the way you might imagine him leading a sermon.
Instead, he was sitting down—though still impeccably dressed. There was a microphone, resting a few inches from his face, though it was hardly a personal instrument of rhetoric. This time Holt was sitting across from the stage—shoulder to shoulder with the city's housing director—waiting to address the expectant faces of Portland's city commissioners.
For even more coverage, including minimum wage issues, go here.