Welcome to Portland's Caring Community

Old Town Chinatown (OTCT), Portland, Oregon

Q and A

Why is Old Town Chinatown Portland's Caring Community?

map of the housing in Old Town Chinatown

Its housing landscape is hard-wired for healthcare housing for the homeless. The Healthcare Sector includes two types of housing: 813 supportive care housing units and 668 shelters. There is a proposal for a new low barrier, 200 bed shelter to be located at the North Gate of the New Chinatown Japantown Historic District. The Historic District is but five blocks long. The new 113 room,"Lifestyle Boutique" will be at the other end at the South Gate.  Download the Shelter Proposal Update, Portland's Caring Community, pages 25-27. 

Increase the economic vitality of the neighborhood by making decisions that build on caring economics, pages 8 and 9.

Caring for the homeless, both the sheltered and unsheltered, is what our neighborhood is all about as reflected in the housing landscape and number of workers in the healthcare sector.  The experience of residents regarding safety, the ill-health of the homeless and the chaotic street scenes are addressed in our guide, Portland's Caring Community, pages 13-15.

What makes OTCT unique among Portland neighborhoods?

 It is a vibrant area, filled with attractions, nightlife and art galleries

  1. It is an inner-city food desert and heat island with low air quality
  2. Despite its name, it lacks a resident and commercial Asian community
  3. It is a multi-faceted healthcare sector in a single neighborhood 

All of the above, but it's not obvious that the neighborhood has as a major industry healthcare. In our Guide to the Housing Landscape (page 6) we detail how 57% of the neighborhood’s housing units provide supportive care and shelter for the homeless. It defines the neighborhood. Healthcare is important economically to the City in other ways. It is one of five economic clusters prioritized by Prosper Portland based on middle-wage job accessibility, local employment concentration, historic and future growth and global reputation/brand.  However, our neighborhood is best known as the "entertainment" district a disconnection we cover on pages 23 and 24.

What is the current gentrification strategy for housing in OTCT?

The presence of market rate housing is negligible now, but is seen by policy makers and planners as highly desirable. As the story goes, this housing strategy would bring "income balance" to the neighborhood. This priority of market rate housing is even called out in Prosper Portland's $58M Old Town Chinatown Five-Year Action Plan. 

Other neighborhoods are gentrified by replacing low income units with market rate apartments. In our neighborhood, it is developing market rate apartments at the exclusion of any more affordable housing despite the high demand for it.

Meanwhile, much needed investments in neighborhood and ethnic serving businesses won't happen until people with higher incomes move in, leaving current residents to shop elsewhere for fresh food and basic services.

See more clearly with new glasses and through a humanistic lens in your decision-making, 

pages 9-13, download Portland's Caring Community Report.

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Thank you

For your interest in our neighborhood. If you contribute to decisions made about our neighborhood we residents appreciate your work on our behalf and for including us in your decision-making process.