Photo Cred: Clay Showalter
Living Cully’s anti-displacement program works to prevent the displacement of low-income residents and people of color from the Cully neighborhood. We also seek to preserve and expand our neighborhood’s stock of permanently affordable housing — so that Cully will always be a place where lower-income folks, people of color, immigrants and refugees, working families and older adults can find stable, affordable homes.
We work in coalition with partners at the city and state levels to push for policies that protect renters, prevent displacement, build new permanently affordable housing, and remove property from the market to keep it affordable and under community control.
We help convene the Anti-Displacement PDX coalition, successfully advocated for the inclusion of dozens of anti-displacement and affordable housing policies in Portland new Comprehensive Plan.
In 2016, we dedicated hundreds of staff and volunteer hours to supporting the Yes for Affordable Homes ballot measure, in which Portland voters approved a $258 million bond that will create 1300 affordable homes citywide.
We have also joined forces with renter advocates, including the Community Alliance of Tenants and Portland Tenants United, to fight for stronger tenant protections and the city and state level. Together, we convinced Portland City Council to adopt a groundbreaker policy in February that requires landlords to pay relocation assistance fees to renters who lose their homes after a no-cause eviction or large rent increase. We also support lifting the state’s ban on local rent-regulation ordinances.
Living Cully organizes the Cully Housing Action Team (CHAT!), which is a grassroots affordable housing advocacy group. CHAT meets on the first Tuesday of most months at Living Cully Plaza, 5:30-8:00pm. To get involved, please contact Cameron Herrington: firstname.lastname@example.org, 503-489-8334.
Save the Oak Leaf
In 2016, Living Cully helped lead the Save The Oak Leaf campaign. Residents of the Oak Leaf Mobile Home Park began the fight to save their homes in January 2016, when they learned that the owner planned to sell the park to a developer who would evict everyone and redevelop the land with higher-rent housing. With support from Living Cully, nearby St. Charles Catholic Church, and Legal Aid Services of Oregon, residents successfully pressured the owner to instead sell the park to them. After entering into a purchase agreement in June, the residents rallied hundreds of supporters at City Council hearings and gained the commitment of City Commissioner Saltzman to use Portland Housing Bureau (PHB) funds to preserve the park.
In November 2016, Living Cully purchased the Oak Leaf with a loan from PHB. In June 2017, permanent ownership was transferred to St. Vincent de Paul of Lane County, which owns several mobile home parks in the Eugene area, preserving them as affordable housing for current and future residents.
“Preserving the Oak Leaf is a victory for the current residents, who fought for nearly a year to save their homes. Many faced the prospect of homelessness if the Oak Leaf had closed down,” said Cameron Herrington, Coordinator of Living Cully’s Anti-Displacement Program. “Bringing the Oak Leaf under community control is also a victory for the Cully neighborhood, and for generations of future residents who will have access to affordable housing here.”
Check out more articles about the Save the Oak Leaf campaign here.
Portland-based real estate speculator Ira Virden bought the Normandy Apartments in December 2016 and immediately issued notices to double the rent for the 18 families who lived there. Living Cully worked with the Normandy residents and allies (including Rigler Elementary School, Portland Tenants United, Legal Aid Services of Oregon, Oregon Law Center) to pressure Virden to rescind the rent increase so our neighbors could remain in their homes.
A solidarity march was attended by over 300 people in February, sending a message to developers across Portland that we will not stand for such savage business practices. In response to community pressure and legal advocacy, Virden postponed the rent increase until the end of the school year. However, almost all of the former residents have moved out in search of homes that they can afford. Almost all of the families have left the Cully neighborhood.
In May, Living Cully and Portland Tenants United staged the Worst Landlord Awards ceremony outside of Virden’s office downtown at HFF Real Estate.
We will continue to fight displacement and help our community build resiliency.
Help us by donating to Living Cully’s Emergency Organizing Fund so we can respond to similar situations that arise in Cully.
Check out our press page for the media coverage of our anti-displacement efforts.
For more information contact Cameron Herrington: