Portland officials voted last year not to expand the city’s urban growth boundary, which prevents housing developments beyond a certain point. This means that the Portland metro area will have to build more densely if it wants to grow, says Scott Latta of The Atlantic’s CityLab.
Oregon has been the top U.S. moving destination for three years in a row, with Portland alone receiving about 1,000 new people a month. Many new Oregon residents are coming from California’s tech jobs, and prospective homeowners find that they must bid much higher than a home’s asking price in order to buy.
One solution to this housing shortage is to demolish existing single-family housing and replace it with multi-family buildings. But even if Portland’s zoning, which overwhelmingly favors single-family development, is revised, the housing that appears in its place will likely favor rich buyers. “This whole idea that anybody is going to build affordable housing to replace the demolished housing is a load of crock,” says Alyssa Isenstein Krueger, a member of the Stop Demolishing Portland group.