Portland’s Trying to Bring Displaced Residents Back to Their Old Neighborhoods.

Why Isn’t It Working?

Comments

1
What a debacle. Not screening for income and other metrics that lenders use to, you know, issue home loans (not only do they use them, they are required by law following tightened lending standards in the wake of the prior housing bubble and foreclosure crisis). I would say it's unbelievably stupid, but it's Portland leadership, so it's very, very believable that they are this stupid.
2
If the government builds regular market priced housing and retains ownership of it then you can make more competition in the market which would lower the market price making rent affordable for low income individuals without congregating all of the low income population into one area. This also has the benefit of making money for the state to invest in low income assistance programs.

Creating low income housing doesn't do as much to make the community better and giving tax breaks to companies to own low income housing is really not a smart idea, it encourages discrimination and cutting corners and does not do anything to help the rest of the population.
3
@Rolyataylor2 - The very strange thing about housing politics in Portland is that so many resources are directed towards the bottom of the income group, while the people who are right on the edge, i.e., most of the lower middle class (and even middle class, depending on where housing prices fall in a given year) get totally overlooked - they are not poor enough to qualify for assistance (or attention by our activists and elected officials), yet they are also vulnerable and are the ones typically forced to pay more taxes or make other concessions. This dynamic breeds a lot of resentment, which can turn reactionary in a really bad way (see, e.g., the election of Donald Trump).

We know how to keep housing prices down - increase the supply. It's not particularly complicated. It's just politically difficult because the middle and upper-middle class like their NIMBY zoning, the housing activists hate developers and so see anything that might "benefit" developers as bad, even if it would help the situation, and the politicians pander to both crowds because they are loud and politically active.
4
The preference policy is insulting and patronizing. What if you don’t want to move back to an area that is now almost completely unrecognizable? You get nothing. If the City really wants to make amends to people who were displaced because of its corrupt policies, it should pay damages in real $$ that people can spend as they see fit.
5
The city diminishes the supply of less unaffordable housing by allowing opportunists to demolish perfectly good smaller homes and put up super expensive behemoths in their places, boxes made of toxic, inferior materials, all ironically in the guise of sustainability.
6
blago, that doesn't really make much of a difference at the end of the day. The people buying those houses would be otherwise just buying up the next-nicest or next-biggest house, because they can afford it.

It's certainly not helpful to tear down a small house and put up a big house, since you don't add any additional housing units to the city stock of housing, but it's also not really harmful - most people are just annoyed because it represents people with money being able to afford things they can't.

What we should really be doing is tearing down smaller unit houses on larger lots, and then putting in 3-5 unit multifamily housing to add to our overall supply. Unfortunately Portland's existing crappy zoning laws prevent this type of "missing middle" infill housing. And that's unlikely to change in the near future because crappy NIMBYs complain about "their" street parking being taken away when we increase housing density (the streets we all pay for that they store their private automobile on for free instead of using their driveways or garages).
7
You don't say, low income folks can't find a house to buy in Portland with a loan of 100k? No way!