Neighborhood planning -- Oregon -- Portland, Community development -- Oregon -- Portland
This document presents a set of strategies for preventing the displacement of low-income Cully residents as new investment comes in to the neighborhood. It was developed at the request of Living Cully: A Cully Ecodistrict, an innovative partnership of three community-serving organizations, Hacienda CDC, the Native American Youth & Family Center (NAYA) and Verde. In 2010, Verde established Living Cully as a strategy to introduce new environmental assets into Portland’s Cully Neighborhood. Living Cully reinterprets the ecodistrict concept as an anti-poverty strategy, as a means to address disparities by concentrating investments at the neighborhood scale. Cully suffers from many disparities: 20 percent of residents live in poverty compared to a regional average of 9.9 percent; 24 percent of residents live within ¼ mile of a park (regional average: 49 percent); only 34 percent of Cully streets have sidewalks.
Together, Living Cully partners create economic, environmental and social benefits for Cully residents, particularly low-income and people of color residents through job training, job opportunities, business contracting opportunities, youth education and community building.
Cully was annexed into the City of Portland, Oregon in 1985. Since then, investment in Cully’s parks, sidewalks, roads, other infrastructure, family-oriented businesses and other amenities has lagged behind the rest of the City, keeping the cost of housing down. Over the last 30 years working families from a variety of cultures have moved to Cully, attracted by affordable housing and proximity to the jobs and services of downtown Portland. Additionally, the efforts of local nonprofits to develop affordable rental units and to provide services to recent immigrant populations have made this neighborhood the most diverse in the State of Oregon.
Cully’s housing affordability, proximity to downtown, rich cultural assets and economic diversity make it a desirable place to live. Research conducted for this report as well as findings presented in September 2012 at the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability find that Cully is in an early stage of gentrification. This means that property remains relatively affordable and land is still available for development. However, a flurry of private development is happening in nearby neighborhoods, and increased investment is flowing into Cully. The experience of other Portland neighborhoods as well as communities from across the United States indicate that gentrification often leads to displacement of existing community members, especially low-income and people of color residents.
The report is designed to be used by the Living Cully partners, Cully residents, public sector and private sector entities. As the community works to improve the neighborhood and raise the collective quality of life, there is a risk that some residents may not be able to stay. The recommendations of this report are designed to guide investment to bring needed assets to the community and prevent displacement of low income people from the neighborhood.
Banuelos, Ricardo; Jordan, Brooke; Kennedy, Rebecca; Norby, Danell; Olsen, Erik; and Watters, Cary, "Not in Cully: Anti-displacement Strategies for the Cully Neighborhood" (2013). Master of Urban and Regional Planning Workshop Projects. 59.