The Residents of Old Town Chinatown Speak Up.
Some of us residents, mostly renters in affordable housing, took it upon ourselves, with the guidance and hard work of our neighbor Katherine Fischer, to conduct a survey of our neighbors, particularly those living near the soon-to-be-developed (we hope) Block 25.
We are sharing results of this report as we expressed what we want on Block 25 and what we don’t want in our neighborhood. Please download Katherine Fischer’s report at www.pdxcaringcommunity.com.
We also asked this question, What kind of neighborhood do we want?
A safe neighborhood – A large portion of residents in our neighborhood are frail, physically disabled or encumbered, making us easy targets who are unable to run from an assailant. When we are intimidated, bullied, harassed, assaulted or robbed, it is unlikely that justice will be served, or that assistance with recovery will be offered – if anyone cares.
A welcoming neighborhood – A welcoming neighborhood is a neighborhood designed with us in mind. It is a place where we feel welcome everywhere in the neighborhood, where no one shuns us as undesirables, or profiles us as potential criminals. It is a place where public spaces are accessible to all of us. It is a place where we can walk along the streets without fearing criminal activity.
A residential neighborhood – A residential neighborhood is a place where we know we belong and our community cares. Big office buildings and hotels attract outsiders who do not understand or even fear us.
Buildings scaled to match existing buildings – As a residential community, towering high rises are incompatible with a neighborhood like ours.
A neighborhood conducive to sober living – Those living in supportive housing abide by a lifestyle of sobriety. We all are willing to leave the neighborhood to buy our liquor. The easy availability of street drugs is an impediment to sober living. We appreciate efforts made by authorities to minimize drug dealing activity.
And we asked:
What businesses do you want to see?
What don’t we want in our neighborhood?
And there are recommendations. Download the report!
A Framework for Equity
We support more affordable housing for development here in our neighborhood. This runs counter to what is being communicated by the Community Association and real estate interests who insist upon market rate housing to "balance" out this neighborhood income-wise. Apparently "balance" is a popular message when you have power over the people, gentrification is the default option for redevelopment, and the people living in the neighborhood are low income folks and renters. I wonder how it fits into the framework for equity? No one around here who has a role in development of Block 25 speaks of the framework for equity.