Meeting Summary: The June Land Use and Transportation Committee (LUTC) meeting was packed! Thank you to all our attendees. Allen Lazo from the Fair Housing Council of Oregon did a fabulous job of summarizing how the evolution of single-family zoning unfolded from the 1920’s to now, and how it’s contributed (along with a number of other policies and practices) to the stark wealth inequality we see today. He also shared some current policy proposals across the state and locally that are proposing changes to what we have grown to understand as “normal” land use patterns but are in fact rooted in racist practices. The group was very focused on the issue of displacement and how to prevent that moving forward with any policy proposal. For that reason, at the next session in July, we will dive into this topic a bit more. Discuss best practices, ask what other communities are doing, and explore what the data and experts say. Stay tuned for the July Agenda and we look forward to seeing you all to continue this important conversation!
Resources: If you were not able to make it, and plan to attend upcoming sessions, please watch these two short videos: (1) Segregated by Design and (2) “Zoning Matters: How Land-Use Policies Shape Our Lives”. They summarize the history of zoning and housing policies and practices that intentionally segregated people by race and income over the last century which has had devastating and lasting effects on African Americans in particular.
Handouts: (1) Definitions (2) Resources sheet (3) Event Flyer of this series to share with friends.
July 2019 Session 2: Understanding the Present
August 2019 Session 3: Discussing the Future
Cameron Herrington, Anti-Displacement Program Manager, Living Cully, shared background and information about Living Cully along with the strategies and practices they have found to be successful for preventing displacement AND maintaining long-term affordable housing for future generations to live in the Cully neighborhood. He touched on the hard spot places are in as they make improvements to neighborhoods, which makes that place more desirable, resulting in housing costs and rents going up. Cameron’s organization is very focused on not just supporting the family currently in an affordable unit, but also ensuring that unit stays affordable for future generations. Living Cully sees that possible by taking that housing stock out of the free market to shield it from market pressures. That can be achieved in a few ways: land banking, co-op ownership, non-profit or government ownership with 99 year leases that ensure affordability for the life of the building.
There was discussion about the size of affordable housing (a shortage of 3 bedroom units and the size of those 3 bedroom units), concerns aboutDuring our discussions of housing affordability and opportunity with a focus on single-dwelling zones, the topic of displacement keeps coming up. Participants have expressed concern that past and future growth, along with policy proposals, will lead to greater displacement of current neighbors.
Living Cully’s anti-displacement program works to prevent the displacement of low-income residents and people of color from the Cully neighborhood while they also seek to preserve and expand the stock of permanently affordable housing — so that Cully will always be a place where lower-income folks, people of color, immigrants and refugees, working families and older adults can find stable, affordable homes. Living Cully has been doing this work for nearly a decade and was one of the first to craft a plan focused specifically on preventing displacement: “Not in Cully: Anti-Displacement Strategies for the Cully Neighborhood, in June 2013 . See the full document here.
Marisa Zapata, Associate Professor of Land-use Planning, focused her time reviewing Oregon’s land use history and discussion House Bill 2001’s proposal to provide more housing options. She also shared information about Oregon’s Urban Growth Boundary – one of the tools to protect farms and forests from urban sprawl and promote the efficient use of land, public facilities and services inside the boundary. She shared that Metro has not re-evaluated the available opportunity for additional housing inside the UGB since the passage of HB 2001 and new opportunity for housing reduces the need to expand. However, the region has the ongoing option to decide how they want to grow, out vs up.
September 2019 Session 4: Discussing the Future (Series extended!)