Plans for public development projects must be informed and guided by community based assessment studies.
WPTC Community Development Work Group
The WPTC Community Development Work Group was formed under the SW Corridor Equity Coalition in response to the West Portland Town City (WPTC) Plan, which is being developed by Portland’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) in collaboration with a diverse group of partners and the broader SW community. The WPTC Plan lays out a vision for a complete and inclusive community around the intersection of Barbur Boulevard, I-5 and Capitol Highway.
While it centers on building strong communities that have equitable access to great public facilities, the WTPC Plan lays the groundwork for:
- More housing choices for people of all ages, abilities and incomes.
- Opportunities for more commercial space.
- Easier and safer movement on foot, bicycle or transit.
- More community places and gathering spaces.
Work Group Strategies
The WPTC Community Development Work Group has the mandate of supporting and contributing to the implementation of BPS’ plan. It places a special focus on community development activities to ensure SWEC Equity Commitments are sufficiently achieved. In 2019, the Work Group identified three main community-based priorities for the West Portland Town Center Plan, and proposed a number of programs to satisfy each priority, as follows:
A) Residential Stability, Health and Ownership
- Secure financing to buy apartments near the Islamic Center of Portland.
- Freeze rents for a period of time to ensure rent stability.
- Offer incentives for landlords to make their apartments affordable.
- Give renters the right and resources to purchase their buildings.
- Ensure renovations occur without passing the bill on to tenants.
B) Mobility, Access and Safety
- Fund more bus lines with greater frequency, free/reduced fares, and less policing.
- Construct more footbridges across I-5.
- Move bus stops to be further from the street.
- Place more bus stops closer to apartment buildings.
- Install a lit overhead pedestrian signal at Alfred.
C) Cultural Anchors and Economic Opportunity
- Provide resources to support existing culturally-specific businesses, e.g. Halal grocery.
- Develop a new multi-cultural marketplace for new businesses.
- Establish a multi-cultural center with event space, computer lab and training facilities, with an emphasis on skill-building for women.
- Develop new affordable housings all along the SW corridor.
- Construct a building in West Portland for refugees and asylees to live free of charge for one year.
If you are a resident or business owner in the West Portland Town Center or the broader SW community and have concerns about the development projects in your area, get involved to support the initiatives of our workgroup.