Housing Crisis: New Housing Committee to Meet with Neighborhood Associations
The newly formed City Housing Committee will be holding an information gathering meeting on the housing crisis in Portland. The meeting will be held on Wednesday, April 13th, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., at King Middle School (92 Deering Avenue). The Committee will give representatives from neighborhood associations five minutes to speak on neighborhood concerns about housing.
The meeting is open to the public, but there will be no time reserved to hear comments from the public. Only representatives from the neighborhood associations will be heard.
The meeting follows a request made by the Parkside Neighborhood Association (PNA). The neighborhood association asked for a public forum with the Housing Committee, “to see and hear firsthand from those most affected by every angle of the Portland’s housing dilemma.”
The request came after the eviction of residents from a 24-unit apartment complex at 61 – 69 Grant Street. The new owner of the building forced the evictions in order to renovate.
The eviction has been widely regarded as a prime example of the housing crisis in Portland, as rents rapidly rise and waiting lists for affordable housing grow.
The committee will hear from representatives of neighborhood associations, but will not take public comment.
In an interview with Mayor Ethan Strimling shortly after his election last year, he told the West End News that the housing crisis was a priority for him.
“Keeping our city affordable at all levels, and certainly around housing will be my primary focus,” Mayor Strimling said, but he did not offer any specific policy ideas.
“[Listening] is the only way to help… You will fail almost every time on your goals if you don’t listen first. Listening is the key to all of it, because you have to understand what the problem is,” he said.
So far there has been no plan issued from the Mayor or City Council to take this crisis from the listening stage to the listing of achievable goals. In the meantime, here is another chance for chosen representatives to be heard.