HOUSING FOR ALL
City Hall should focus on providing affordable housing for every Portlander who needs it, instead of guaranteeing profits for developers. Market speculation and a lack of basic tenant protections are driving Portlanders from their homes and into the streets. The city spends millions subsidizing private development and out-of-state corporations. City Hall should instead work to guarantee the right of housing to all Portlanders.
Salem is blocking us from two crucial protections: Rent control and a ban on no-cause evictions. Portland City Council must recognize their power to pressure Republicans and Democrats in Salem to hand over local control to Portlanders so we can solve the rent and houselessness crisis.
Here in Portland, we must think outside the for-profit developer box to create permanently affordable housing. City Hall should buy and refurbish multifamily housing and remove it from the market to keep it permanently affordable. Let’s bypass the middleman and launch a visionary public option for affordable home construction. The city should redirect development subsidies into affordable housing efforts. The city must also decriminalize houselessness. Poverty is not a crime, and people deserve to be treated with respect and dignity.
“Let’s bypass the middleman and launch a visionary public option for affordable home construction.”
— Julia DeGraw
Salem is staying our hands by refusing to lift their ban on rent control and just-cause evictions. These tools will help solve the housing crisis. City Council should lobby Salem to lift the bans—not cow-tow to developer and landlord interests.
Expand crucial relocation assistance to close loopholes and make it permanent for all tenants. This is a basic tenant protection.
We need new home construction, but that’s not our only tool. City Hall should move to obtain currently affordable housing, refurbish it using union labor, and keep it permanently affordable. The City could also explore a vacancy tax to raise revenue and encourage landlords to fill units.
Portland tenants need one, standardized rental application. Some tenants are currently paying hundreds of dollars in application fees only to face rejection after rejection—a reality faced disproportionately by tenants of color and tenants of LGBTQIA identities.
City Hall should redirect subsidies for private development and unaffordable housing into community land trusts, communal ownership models, and a public option for affordable home construction.
Compile a database of zombie homes to address unsafe derelict properties, collect property taxes to fund public services, and identify opportunities for community ownership of affordable housing.
We should decriminalize houselessness. Poverty is not a crime, and people should be treated with respect and dignity.
Instead of taking a position of leadership on violently sweeping people out of where they’re living without any alternatives, the city should take the lead on finding public areas we can use to provide temporary housing and services.
The USDA reported that 1 in 7 Oregon households (14.6%) were food insecure in 2014-2016. The City must put more funding toward feeding hungry Portlanders.