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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on April 1, 2010 4:16 AM. The previous post in this blog was Time to get on the bandwagon again. The next post in this blog is $582 million of new debt queued up for City of Portland. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Thursday, April 1, 2010

Strangers in a strange land

The Sisters of the Road set invaded Portland's SoWhat District yesterday, looking for low-income people. They didn't find any.

The 10,000 biotech workers and vibrant yada yada were also nowhere to be found, of course.

Comments (9)

Why do people believe any of these throwaway lines from CoP? Like low-income housing in this neighborhood?

Get out the violins. Houses are pretty dog gone inexpensive in Vancouver, Washington, and Salem are real cheap. If you've a job in Portland, count your blessings and stop trying to have the city go into even more debt to subsidize your high end real estate dreams. If you don't have a job, relocation sometimes should be considered. Especially given this city's anti business and high cost of living policies.

Tough Love, baby!

I could never figure out the reasoning behind putting low cost housing in the downtown core where property is the most expensive. The core has the least amount of access to services and very limited opportunities for low cost groceries, clothing and other essentials. This region has smart thinking non profits that purchase run down apartment buildings and are able to purchase and rehab these units for under $50K each. Compare that to a minimum of 150K per unit cost in the downtown core. Why do this?

Low cost housing was already in the downtown core. A lot of it's been torn down to make way for empty condo buildings. The set-asides were supposed to replace previous low-income housing, 1) because that's where the people were living already and 2) because nobody was building low-income housing anywhere else in town.

Living in the downtown core is still cheaper than most anywhere else if you don't have a car or have trouble getting around. Free transit in Fareless Square (at least until recently). There are a number of social services located downtown. It's central for transit to doctor's offices. Abundant sidewalks and curb cuts. The Safeway on Jefferson has been around for a long time for groceries, and the cost of items in small markets is more than made up for by the lack of a need for a car. Goodwill's just a short hop on the Hawthorne bus across the river for clothes.

darrelplant:

The downtown low cost housing that was torn down that you are referring to was comprised of a bunch of roach infested flop houses. There are many more diverse groups of folks that qualify for low cost housing than the constituents of Sisters of the Road. I would suggest that one Safeway store and a Goodwill store do not offer a diversity of opportunities. Transit connections are abundant all over town, and there are good connections along Max lines. Sure taking a bus or a train is never as convenient as driving ones own car but one still can get anywhere in the metropolitan area via public transit. I believe it is really classist to say that one Safeway and a Goodwill store is all economically disadvantage folks need. I would suggest there are greater opportunities in suburban neighborhoods offering Wal-Mart, Bi Mart, Target, Grocery Outlet, Kohl’s and large variety of famers markets and discount outlets. As far as services go all of the necessary ones are out of the downtown core, unless you are talking about a meth clinic.

Just a reminder: SoWha's Block 49 which was designated to be affordable housing had two back-and-forth property sales involving the PDC and Homer Williams that benefited his pockets by over $3 Million in a time span of less than two years. Housing there is still not a reality.

Then, as posted before, Block 33 which involves OHSU and Homer, recently benefited those two again by over $2 Million. Portland taxpayers gave over $6 Million for air-rights and parking rights to OHSU and Homer and got back only $4 Million in a deal recently signed when OHSU reneged on the deal. Now, not even affordable housing on this site.

But I have to agree that shoe-horning real affordable housing into SoWhat makes little sense now after PDC, Portland Housing Bureau and others waited too long to invest in land before land inflation set in, in SoWhat. League of Women Voters and others tried to point this out very early in the planning stages of SoWhat. But Sam representing Katz and others didn't listen. Spending part of the required 30% of TIF dollars outside of SoWhat would buy more affordable housing by a major amount.

John Benton - just try and site services for homeless people in a suburban area (and for that matter, just out of the core downtown area), unless it's in an industrial area or one with few homeowners to complain.

(and for that matter, just out of the core downtown area)

Not true. The heaviest concentration of high-impact social services in Portland is in the Buckman neighborhood in southeast.

SoWhat should start with a methadone clinic.

Jack, after the methadone clinic, it should be followed with one of Randy's toilets since the the new poodle park doesn't have a toilet. Even though the Park cost over $12 Million, the toilets were eliminated after the first bids to try to make budget.


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