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Field Reports

Dream Denied: Portland’s Housing Affordability Crisis, Recent Progress, and What Else Can Still Be Done

Nitan Shanas, Emerson Fellow

Welcome Home Coalition,
Published 2021-2022

Portland, Oregon

In 2016, Portland voters passed a $258 million bond to build more affordable housing thanks in large part to the advocacy of the Welcome Home Coalition and other residents. Portland-metro voters followed suit with the passage of a $652.8 million bond in 2018. These bonds are a sliver of the many housing solutions implemented in the Portland Metropolitan region, which has taken bold and extensive steps to address its housing affordability crisis when compared to many other places throughout the country. Yet still, these steps, taken together, are not enough to ensure that every individual in the area has a safe place to call home. This website provides a brief history of housing in the U.S. to inform the reader about how we got to where we are at today; included within are the ways in which federal housing policies have led to racial inequalities in our housing market and influenced how state and municipal governments tackle their housing crises. The website also describes three important components to any municipal housing strategy. Finally, the website delves into the housing market in Portland, Oregon; including a timeline of recent policies passed by the Oregon state legislature and the city of Portland, an interactive map showcasing the effects of the two affordable housing bonds mentioned above, and my policy recommendations for further actions that the city can take to address its housing crisis.

View “Dream Denied: Portland’s Housing Affordability Crisis, Recent Progress, and What Else Can Still Be Done”

Publication tags: Field Reports - Housing, Income, Expenses, and Hunger

Shanas headshot

Nitan Shanas

Emerson Fellow


Welcome Home Coalition

Portland, Oregon