By Midge Pierce

A newly-minted neighbor who moved to Portland for its friendliness, charm and generosity laments that the PDX future is “Seattlelization”  complete with insufferable traffic, short tempers, instability of the middle class, epidemic demolitions, misguided Infill, declining civility, loss of livability.

Now, the City is undertaking a project to address social justice, fairness and livability.

The Better Housing Design initiative (BHD) aims to improve the quality of life in underserved parts of the City like outer E. Portland where amenities are lacking and large apartment buildings have children with no safe place to play.

Areas already zoned multi-housing in and around busy centers and corridors with no suitable bike or pedestrian connections to transit stops will take priority.

The project targets equity for low-income and minority populations in multi-housing and does not overlap with the controversial, proposed Residential Infill Project which would open up vast swaths of SE’s single family residential neighborhoods to future multi-housing development.

While the project falls under the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, most of the $300,000+ funding comes from a Metro development grant.

Metro is the regional arm of government that holds the reigns on the urban growth boundary and guides growth as close-in to the City Center as possible.

It advocates for accessible transit corridors like the proposed Division Rapid Transit Project, welcomed more by Gresham residents than those along inner Division.

The Portland Plan and the 2035 Comprehensive Plan inform plan-making and the progressive policies behind them.

Keeping abreast of interconnecting and non-connecting projects is a herculean task for citizens and overworked city staff alike.