Graduation Date

Fall 2017

Document Type

Thesis

Program

Master of Arts degree with a major in Social Science, Environment and Community

Committee Chair Name

Renée Byrd

Committee Chair Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Second Committee Member Name

Matthew Derrick

Second Committee Member Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Third Committee Member Name

Laurie Richmond

Third Committee Member Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Subject Categories

Environment and Community

Abstract

The Cully neighborhood is situated in the Northeast quadrant of Portland, Oregon. It is 2.75 square mile plot of land and home to roughly 13,000 people. In addition to being one of the most diverse neighborhoods in Portland, it is the most densely populated, with the smallest amount of parkland per capita. Over the last two decades, home value has increased 203% in Cully, compared to a 90% citywide increase. Amidst these development trends are stories of incredible resilience, resistance and activism from the affected community. My project is a case study of one anti-displacement initiative, which was developed and implemented by a multi-partner community-based organization: Living Cully. The Living Cully Weatherization and Home Repair Project 2.0 presents a unique example of one group’s ability to reinterpret sustainability – a common goal in an ostensibly “green” city – to include the strengthening of social cohesion and community health. The organization garnered support from energy conscious funders by developing a weatherization project that targeted majority low-income, minority homeowners. The goal was to lower residents’ bills, but what they found was that a majority of homes were in no condition to be weatherized, as they needed to first undergo critical repairs. Improving residents’ living conditions and the structural integrity of their homes effectively safeguarded them from being evicted and contributed to preventing the involuntary displacement of these vulnerable residents. By distributing surveys to and conducting one-year follow-up interviews with the clients of this project, I [1] evaluated the effectiveness of the project as an anti-displacement initiative to [2] gain a better understanding of the way gentrification is experienced inside of the home. Gentrification literature often focuses on identifying and defining broad economic and neighborhood-level processes underpinning gentrification. This diverts attention away from the home, where gentrification is perhaps most intimately experienced. Gentrification manifests radically differently depending on place, as well as the scale at which it is being addressed. Causes and solutions similarly vary. It is crucial for gentrification theorists and policy-makers alike to define gentrification in a way that encourages the development of place-specific solutions. Doing so requires listening to the voices of experience, the voices that are often dismissed. This project takes a first step toward analyzing the scalar impact of gentrification. I urge academics, community workers and policy-makers to move beyond a neighborhood-scale analysis and consider the ways in which gentrification impacts residents inside of their homes by highlighting the vast, complex interaction between gentrification related social, economic and physical restructurings.

Citation Style

APA

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