First Advisor

Thomas Harvey

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Geography






Housing -- Oregon -- Portland, Housing subsidies -- Oregon -- Portland, Albina (Portland Or.)



Physical Description

1 online resource (vii, 97 pages)


Housing embodies much more than just a physical commodity. In addition to being an investment, it is our shelter, right to privacy, connection to community, and access to recreation and necessities. Homeownership has long been hailed by social and housing advocates as an economic stabilizer for low to moderate-income neighborhoods. For low and moderate-income residents (households earning 50-100% of the median income), homeownership is possible in two forms: affordable market-rate housing created by the filtering down of houses until affordable to low and moderate-income households, or through subsidized homeownership programs which develop new housing and offer financial assistance for low and moderate-income households.

The purpose of this study was to detem1ine which of these two options, market-rate or subsidized, offer higher quality affordable housing to low and moderate-level income households. Through field observation and GIS analysis, the study compared the structural, block, neighborhood amenity, crime, and proximity to CBD characteristics of affordable market-rate and subsidized houses in Portland's Albina Community. The study samples were approximately 100 houses per sample; market-rate houses consisted of houses that sold during 2000 for $125,000 or less, and subsidized houses were selected from housing created by three local non-profit development agencies.

General characteristics of the two samples revealed subsidized houses were larger and more affordable per square foot than the market-rate houses in Albina. Descriptive statistics showed little overall difference between the two samples in structural, block, neighborhood amenity, and crime characteristics. However, distribution of the two samples varied widely, and consequently subsidized houses were 1 to 2 miles closer to the CBD than market-rate houses. While quality between the two types of affordable housing is currently comparable, the study suggests these trends may soon be threatened by future maintenance needs and neighborhood upgrading.


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