The State of Affordable Housing

Locked Out: The Failure of Portland-Area Affordable Housing

The Oregonian’s Brad Schmidt spent months analyzing data and interviewing experts for this series on the failure of local governments and agencies to fulfill a fundamental goal of the nation’s 44-year-old Fair Housing Act: to give everyone, regardless of color, a fair shot at living in a decent neighborhood. Schmidt’s investigation found that taxpayer money meant to help break down segregation and poverty is instead reinforcing it. Housing is subsidized in the poorest neighborhoods and often in areas with above-average minority populations. And few poor people and people of color get to live in desirable communities such as inner Southeast Portland and Lake Oswego

Failure to support Fair Housing Act leads to subsidized segregation – Taxpayer money meant to create affordable and desirable housing for the poor and people of color instead pushes them into the Portland area’s worst neighborhoods.

Portland’s Section 8 clients are shifted east of 82nd – An agency’s decisions force the exile of people of color and the poor from Portland’s inner east side.

Low-cost housing shut out amid riches of Lake Oswego and West Linn – Leaders of the wealthy cities of Lake Oswego and West Linn have simply “declined” to include regional affordable housing goals in their policies.

Homebuilders block efforts by Washington County leaders to include affordable housing – Efforts by Washington County leaders to persuade North Bethany developers to include moderately priced homes in new subdivisions are characterized as “coercive.”