Central Eastside Business Owners Have Prevailed in Fight Against Right 2 Dream Too

Comments

1
Tents are not the solution. Would this city do something, ANYTHING, to address permanent, affordable housing for the most vulnerable population????
2
What's your proposed solution, ktm?

This is not a simple issue with simple answers.

There are things the city could do to increase the supply of affordable housing, like zoning for additional density, funding city-owned affordable housing and property trusts, increasing the use of ADUs, etc.

But most all of these things either cost a lot of money, which most taxpayers balk at paying given Portland's historical mismanagement of government funds, or things that established groups (neighborhood associations, i.e., NIMBYs, and business groups) vehemently oppose.
3
@ktm -- I don't think tents are "the" solution, but given budget and building/zoning constraints I think they're a sensible part of a solution. Having structured, regulated campgrounds are kind of like a hospital's ER -- not where anybody should remain, but a temporary place to stay before they can move onto the best care (a shelter, temporary housing, health care facilities (addiction treatment and/or ailment treatment), etc.). Tent space is a cheap alternative to actual buildings.

There needs to be an emphasis on temporary, though, and budget and land constraints keep tripping up things like moving folks into treatment, job placement, etc. There also needs to be oversight and structure: see the disasters that are (were?) the Springwater Trail and Laurelhurst Park. There also needs to be an emphasis on (at a minimum) a state-wide solution. We *have* to acknowledge that people do come to Portland to be homeless and the city can't take on that entire burden. The Oregon government needs to step up.

Ultimately "the" solution is to get folks housing and a stable income to afford said housing (never perfectly achievable but still the ideal target) but we can't keep dismissing "tent cities" and "warehousing" as steps toward the solution, otherwise nothing's gonna change. And, putting my NIMBY hat on, I'd rather have organized, local encampments rather than people sacked out in the alley behind my house or on the sidewalks. I'm much happier with sweeps if there's an actual place for folks to go.

(Guido: Yes, bunkhouses could fill a gap in here. I think the trick is figuring out how to make them affordable yet give developers an acceptable return on investment.)