The St. Johns Neighborhood Association hosted PSU's MERP student team for a Housing Action Forum to discuss the dire state of housing in St. Johns, this past Monday. MURP stands for the Masters in Urban Regional Planning program.
The City of Portland is experiencing a housing crisis, and St. Johns is no exception. We have the second highest poverty rate in the city, and yet median home sales prices have risen year-over-year by almost 9.7% on average since 2011. The largest jump occurred from 2012 to 2013, when median prices jumped by 17.4%!
Many of our neighbors are being priced out of our community. The MURP team highlighted that for several minoritiy communities including blacks and latinos, single mothers, and seniors, it is no longer possible to rent a studio or 2 bedroom apartment, or to buy a home.
To further explore and better understand the state of housing in our community, the MURP team facilitated 5 seperate table discussions. Neighbors discussed homelessness, the challenges experienced by renters, roles for homeowners, creative community solutions, and community organization and advocacy in St. Johns. Conversations focused on identifying community strengths, highlighting present challenges, and brainstorming potential actions.
The MURP team will complie community responses gathered on Monday, along with information gathered at other area forums they are hosting around our neighborhood, as part of their final proposal for our community.
The team was invited by the St. Johns Center for Opportunity to conduct a multi-month long assessment of housing in St. Johns, which will conclude in June. SJNA hopes to invite the MURP team back to a future meeting to share their results.
St. Johns Neighborhood Association monthly meetings are held on the 2nd Monday of every month from 7-8:30pm, at the St. Johns Community Center. Free childcare is often provided.