City Council Testimony on Residential Infill Project
Hello, my name is Candace Avalos, and I am first generation millennial Blacktina, a concerned resident and active member of my community. I support passing the Residential Infill Project with amendments 1-4 and 6, and without amendment 7. Thank you for making time to discuss this important issue amid this moment of national crisis, and a reminder that the protests against historic police brutality on black and brown people are connected to the same issues we discuss about our history of displacing black and brown Portlanders: systemic racism. I’m here to represent a generation that feels left behind by the economy and left out of the conversation. I am a renter living in constant fear of being priced out of my home, with student loan debt that makes the possibility of owning a home unattainable for the foreseeable future, even though I have a stable job, good pay, and a master’s degree. If I’m having this hard of a time keeping a roof over my head, how are others faring? (hint: not well)
Addressing our housing crisis requires a dynamic response with multiple solutions that will help to keep people off the streets, and in housing they can afford. I strongly support the Residential Infill Project, which is setting a national example for progressive reform to low-density zoning, because it is a carefully crafted, long-awaited reform projected to reduce displacement of low-income tenants and also reduce market-rate housing prices at no cost to the public. It will make housing more affordable, assist in creating 15-minute neighborhoods that encourage biking and walking while making transit more accessible, and discourages urban sprawl by helping us live in more compact neighborhoods. These are all good for the environment and help us stay committed to our goals of making Portland greener. Undoing racist land use patterns, that made places like Eastmoreland exclusive and wealthy for example, helps us bring back diversity of mixed income housing to combat years of inequitable policies.
We cannot stop here, as these reforms are only part of what the city must do to address our housing crisis, and I hope you will continue to engage the community experts doing this work on the ground like those in Portland: Neighbors Welcome to develop meaningful, long term anti-displacement strategies. Thank you.