Livable Communities are Possible
Housing & Houselessness
In the next 20 years Portland is expected to grow by over half a million people. We have a lot of work to do to ensure our growth is scaled in a way that people can continue to afford to live and work in this city. As housing prices continue to skyrocket, more and more Portlanders are getting pushed to the outskirts of our city and our society. This gentrification threatens our residents’ way of life and the diversity of our communities. We need to create a city that has space and opportunity for everyone, while ensuring their voices are reflected in the decisions we as we continue growing. Every Portlander deserves a safe and stable place to call home and a community that helps them thrive. Keeping a roof over your head should not result in sacrificing food, healthcare, and the right to live a productive and meaningful life. Together we must create a culture that makes it socially and politically unacceptable for our neighbors to remain houseless.
While we must do everything we can to keep people in their homes, including fully funding rental assistance, we must address the root cause of the housing crisis by building affordable housing affordably and at scale. If the private market left to its own devices was going to solve the housing problem it would have by now—which is why we must incentivize ways to build affordable housing affordably at scale. We should consider creating an innovation hub for affordable housing design and manufacturing. These units would be affordable not because of subsidies but because they are able to be built and sold at a market rate which is truly affordable. In addition to building more affordable housing, we must continue to build housing for all at every level.
We must invest in more integrated housing, and create neighborhoods with families of mixed income. Your ability to have a thriving community with access to resources and activities should not be determined by the type of home you can afford to buy or rent. When we make decisions about transportation, parks, and commerce, we need to take into account the needs of those communities and create spaces that are more financially welcoming to families of all incomes and this is done by creating spaces where Portlanders have immediate access to basic needs like healthcare, groceries, education, and transportation networks.
A recent report has shown that more than 30% of families in Multnomah County are struggling to meet their basic needs. Our municipal governments need to create more strategies through collaboration to efficiently spend money on short term solutions that will help keep those who are living on the edge from falling into homelessness. As our city continues to grow and develop we need to ensure strong anti-displacement policies are in place. In addition, rental assistance needs to be fully funded, and the office of Rental Services needs to be fully staffed and funded as well.
We cannot continue to spend our limited resources with inhumane and costly sweeps that only further push vulnerable people into more dangerous situations. The reality is that we will not be able to have a home for everyone who needs it overnight. Therefore, we need to invest in short term solutions providing basic services like sanitation, water, and trash to help the houseless community. We need to get creative to ultimately offer the houseless the kinds of services they need to get off the streets, from things like laundry vouchers to have clean clothes on their backs, to mental health and addiction services to help people recover from the challenges keeping them on the streets.
We need to treat others with the dignity and respect they deserve, full stop. The houseless epidemic is growing in every large city in America, and we must take this seriously and act with compassion. We must ensure the policies we pass as a city do not continue to cause trauma to our houseless neighbors, and instead focus our resources and energy on pushing for reforms at the state and federal level to address this crisis.
In a world with growing income inequality, the expectation of homeownership is simply not an option for everyone. As more Portlanders are renting, we must continue to build in protections for tenants in our infrastructure. In addition, rental assistance needs to be fully funded, and the office of Rental Services needs to be fully staffed and funded as well.
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Candace is running a grassroots campaign fueled by the people of Portland, not corporations and special interest PACs. Therefore, we are only accepting donations under $250! By donating and supporting our movement, we can elect a candidate that will ensure all voices are heard and represented in city hall. Donate today and tell your friends!