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Can Community Investment Trusts Help Slow Down Gentrification in Portland?

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Portland, Oregon

Every morning Elizabeth Guerrero starts doling out breakfast burritos and shots of espresso through the window of La Osita. Her food cart sits at Plaza 122, an unassuming strip mall in a part of Portland, Oregon, far removed from the quirky boutiques lovingly satirized in Portlandia sketches.

The storefronts and offices in Plaza 122 reflect the surrounding neighborhood: multilingual tax preparers; the Somali-American Council of Oregon; a Russian lotion shop; a security firm; a cab company; a hair salon.

What isn’t apparent briefly passing by is that Plaza 122 is an experiment that hopes to keep the existing community from being displaced by gentrification. The businesses that operate there are independently owned, but the property belongs to the East Portland Community Investment Trust. Guerrero, other shop owners, and more than one hundred others are invested in the CIT, early adopters of a program intended to help the asset-poor accrue equity and a sense of community ownership.

Recent years of rapid growth have priced many low-income communities out of Portland’s urban core, and now growth is spreading East. A 2018 study conducted by the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability found that East Portland has seen the city’s fastest increase in housing costs, and that more than 14,000 households are cost-burdened, paying over thirty percent of their income on rent.



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Thanks !

Thanks for sharing this, you are awesome !