First Advisor

Hunter Shobe

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Environmental Studies and University Honors


Environmental Studies


Refugees -- Housing -- Oregon -- Portland, Refugees -- Oregon -- Portland -- Social conditions, Immigrants -- Housing -- Oregon -- Portland, Immigrants -- Oregon -- Portland -- Social conditions, Place (Philosophy), Place attachment, Housing -- Prices, Cost and standard of living




This research highlights the impact that rising rent prices have on refugees' sense of place in Portland. The majority of Oregon’s refugee population arrive in Portland, the fourth fastest gentrifying city in the United States. Refugees receive eight months of financial assistance upon arrival, an average of $339 per month. Employees from the Immigrant Refugee Community Organization were interviewed including refugees, an asylee, and immigrants from Bhutan, Myanmar/Burma, Chad, Iraq, and Somalia. One employee from Catholic Charities was interviewed. Positive perceptions include natural amenities, that it is considered safe and small, the progressive political climate, and community presence & support. They all said they would stay as long as they could afford to, indicating they had developed an attachment to place. Negative themes found include gentrification, racism, and displacement. Many of the refugees moved to rural areas that are conservative, leaving them isolated from their communities, distanced from resources and potentially more likely to experience racism under the current conservative anti-immigration administration. Policy considerations generated by interviewees and organizations that are currently working to address these issues were discussed. Further work should be done to determine how refugees can be supported. The recommendations resulting from this study are increased resources towards refugee housing stability and affordability at the municipal, regional and federal level.


In Copyright. URI: This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).

Persistent Identifier