What would a city look like with housing for all?
Voices were raised collectively on August 28th, asking why we can’t defend against skyrocketing rents, mass housing displacement, and systemic gentrification of working class communities and communities of color. Starting with a rally at City Hall, housing organizations and renters spoke out about the housing crisis that is descending on this city. Following the trend in places like San Francisco and Brooklyn, the average rents, and property values, in Portland are heading higher and higher while wages for working class people have remained stagnant. As Portland’s reputation as a creative and hip tech-friendly city expands, so does the displacement of the working class families that have been embedded in the city’s neighborhoods for decades.
The Portland Solidarity Network, $15Now, Right to Dream Too/Right to Survive, the Black Rose Rosa Negra Anarchist Federation, Portland Tenants United, and other groups joined the Portland Renters Assembly in calling for this Housing for All March. Tying together issues of homelessness, minimum wage needs, and the tyranny of “no cause eviction,” a discourse was established about how interconnected issues play together to create a city that is fast becoming unlivable.
After the rally the march took over the streets, taking over a bridge across the river before having an outdoor renters assembly, where tenants spoke out about doubling rents, vacant landlords, and desperate situations.
This is the beginning of a revitalized tenants movement in Portland, and the first big siren in the beginning of the fight back for a livable city.