“We Oppose RIP” Says Portland Tenants Union


Listen to this interview with Soren Impey, an organizer and representative of Portland Tenants United (PTU).  PTU leads the fights for Portlanders who need affordable rental housing.  PTU is against the Residential Infill Project, and Soren explains why.

Click the image above, which will take you to the interview at https://kboo.fm/media/67688-portland-tenants-united-weighs-residential-infill-project

“There was some good intentions.  Unfortunately, many of the people involved in the numerous sets of stakeholder committees that were developed, were people involved in real estate development, people involved in consulting about urban design, and even some of the people involved who have a background in affordable housing came at it from the perspective of providers of housing – people are in essence landlords of affordable housing.” 

“There really needed to be more of a voice for tenants and for the vulnerable communities that are threatened by displacement.  If that voice had been there in that process, I think RIP would look very different than it does today.”  

“From my perspective as a tenant, I look at RIP as there’s this big battle between people who lived in residential neighborhoods and didn’t want to see the character of their neighborhood change, and people who wanted to see modest changes in how those neighborhoods look, in terms of opening them up for ADUs, and opening them up for duplexes and triplexes.  From the perspective of a tenant, neither of those goals really do much for housing affordability.  That’s one of the reasons that the last set of testimony that the Portland Tenants Union gave was ‘we oppose RIP and want the city to start over again’.”  

“Portland should be accessible to everyone, to the communities that have been displaced, the waves of gentrification that have displaced people of color in the city.  I don’t see much in RIP that really addresses that chronic and ongoing housing injustice.”

“The city can start to address the problems with redlining, with gentrification, with urban development and redevelopment, by proactively working both via zoning and regulation, and funding of public and non-profit housing, to regulate the market in such a way that the city is actually providing needed housing, and not encouraging housing that isn’t needed, where there isn’t a a deficit.” 

“The regulations we have today in the city are not working, because those regulations are clearly allowing the private market to overbuild the type of housing where we don’t really have a chronic shortage – housing that is affordable to upper income people.  Given that the market today is already regulated and that the market has many incentives for this type of housing, we think the city should start ‘putting its fingers on the scale’ to allow for the production of housing where we’ve seen a chronic deficit and where the city has played a role in incentivising gentrification and incentivising a desire of developers to build high-end housing.”

Tell the Mayor and Commissioners that you want them to vote “NO” on RIP.  Demand city actions that will create affordable housing.  Say NO to demolishing existing affordable housing to build expensive housing for, as PTU says, upper income people.  Use your voice!

Click the “Stop RIP” button in the right sidebar, to enter your name and send an email directly to the City Council.