City Council complains that it does not control the supply of homelessness. But foreclosures of both homes and businesses have been on the rise in Portland. The city has a responsibility to work with the People, listen to what they are willing to do, and solve the problems being faced.
We need to build affordable housing for Portlanders, and make sure that the money allocated to affordable housing programs stays there. The city should explore negotiations with title owners to establish temporary renting caps in livable residences that have been vacant for over 6 months.
Neighborhood Associations should have the right to file lawsuits against excessive foreclosures, to protect their homes from value loss and prevent profit hungry banks from destroying the livelihood of the community.
In times of public safety and economic crisis, the government has the power to use Regulatory Taking, giving the People the right to say “Enough”. The People can petition the city to open foreclosed homes for the benefit of the public, and renegotiate the living conditions with evicted homeowners, so they are no longer victim to predatory interest increases set by bailed out banks. This would take care of the budget issues related to providing emergency services for unhoused People.
The city should organize public forums to discuss how the camping ban can be lifted in specific areas to give People sanctuary from the streets downtown, where overnight camping will not disrupt the overall function of People’s lives in Portland.
Portland needs to use creative solutions to address the growing housing problem. There is a big permaculture movement here and the city needs to encourage and allow for ways that people can live happily and in harmony with nature.
It could take Portland less than 10 years to address the homelessness crisis.