Portlanders push back on city’s housing solution

Opponents fear the plan would hurt more than help

Housing in Portland. (KOIN)
Housing in Portland. (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The City of Portland is growing fast, but something needs to be done about housing and the city is feeling some serious push back on its plan.

The Residential Infill Project would rezone city land for more duplexes and triplexes and smaller homes, rather than traditional single dwelling homes.

“What we’re really interested in is re-committing ourselves to a more modest approach to housing,” Project Manager Morgan Tracy said. “I think there’s a growing recognition that this is a housing type that’s both in demand and is lacking.”

At the November 16 City Council meeting, people spoke up about their fears that the plan will hurt more than it helps.

“The project has gotten so off track,” Robin Harman said.

Harman calls it a “Destiny agenda wrapped in a flag of affordability.”

“There’s absolutely no indication that it would provide affordable housing, no mandate that it would have to,” Harman said.

Tracy said this project would bring less expensive housing options to Portland.

There is also fear of rampant demolition and what comes next.

“It’s a sweetheart deal,” Harman said. “An entitlement to developers to build almost whatever they want wherever they want.”

Harman said 27 out of 31 neighborhoods who pitched in feedback strongly oppose the project.

But the city says the time to act is now.

“As the demand is increasing, if we don’t add to that supply, even the modest affordable housing we have now, we will see prices then increase,” Tracy said.