Re: 11-story building to displace low-income residents in Kenton

Taffy Everts

Hi, Trina,


Yes, two buildings built in the 1940s that now house 14 people would be torn down and replaced with an 11-story building with an estimated 290 units that would house an estimated 500 people in studios and 1- and 2-bedroom units. Concerns are that the people now housed pay a lot less ($500-$800 per month, reportedly) for their apartments than the proposed units will rent for. They are billed as affordable, but will rent for 60% of the current Average Median Income (AMI) for our area. Current HUD maximum monthly rent including utilities at 60% AMI is $1015 for a 1-person studio, $1088 for a 1.5-person 1-bedroom, and $1306 for a 3-person 2-bedroom apartment. At least 8 of the current residents reportedly can’t afford the increased rent.


Another rub is that because the project is about a block from the Kenton MAX station, it has no provision for car parking (only bicycle parking). I don’t know if you’re familiar with the immediate neighborhood (sort of behind the Dancing Bear strip club in Kenton), but it’s a small, hilly area of a few narrow streets sandwiched between the MAX tracks and N Columbia Blvd. Parking is already difficult for the folks who live in the garden apartments and the newer four-story building across N Fenwick from the project. Assuming one car for every two residents in the new building, where will 250 more people find parking?


As far as I know, the current tenants have not been offered apartments in the proposed building or alternative housing while it’s being built or afterwards. (These are good questions to ask the developer and/or architect at the KNA board meeting tomorrow evening. Thanks!)


We absolutely need more affordable housing in Portland, but is the building as proposed appropriate for that purpose?





From: <> On Behalf Of Trena Sutton
Sent: Tuesday, July 13, 2021 2:57 PM
Subject: Re: [pdxshelterforum] 11-story building to displace low-income residents in Kenton


As I read this approximately 14 units would be torn down in favor of this large project. The age of the current dwellings is significant. Where will the current residents go while its being built? Will the displaced families have the choice to move in first?


The project sounds enormous but inducements may be favorable to families. The rub may be a loss of yards for children to play in or the ability to have small gardens or planted flowers.


We desperately need more affordable housing and I hope all will benefit from this project.






On Tue, Jul 13, 2021, 8:44 AM Taffy Everts <taffy@...> wrote:

Thanks for your supportive comments! The proposed building site is the two lots at 1810 and 1838 N Argyle Street at N Fenwick. The project will be presented at the Kenton Neighborhood Association (KNA) board meeting tomorrow evening. More info about the building is at


I will forward the lawyer’s email link to one of the current residents.





From: <> On Behalf Of Andrew Olshin
Sent: Monday, July 12, 2021 9:05 PM
To: Shelter Forum <>
Subject: Re: [pdxshelterforum] 11-story building to displace low-income residents in Kenton



I’ve heard good things about this lawyer:


On Jul 12, 2021, at 8:54 PM, Elise Aymer <elise@...> wrote:


I also think it's relevant for the forum. I think it's problematic if we only focus on things once someone has nowhere to live, rather than look at the systems that create that scenario. And the case Taffy raises is very lPDX ocal and current.




On Mon, Jul 12, 2021 at 10:36 PM Trena Sutton <thegirlsok@...> wrote:

Just my opinion but I think it is very appropriate for this venue. I could find out which Developer if I can get a street name and cross street.


On Mon, Jul 12, 2021, 6:04 PM Taffy Everts <taffy@...> wrote:

I’m not sure this is the right forum for this question, but I’m wondering whether low-income folks displaced from affordable housing have any right to replacement housing. A developer wants to build an 11-story building on two lots containing low-rise mid-20th-century apartments whose residents reportedly pay $500-$800/month. Described at, the new building’s proposed 290 units (studios and 1- & 2-bedroom apartments) will rent for 60% of Average Median Income (AMI).


The AMI for our area currently ranges from $40,620 for 1 person to $58,020 for a family of 4—too much, according to NextDoor posts, for at least 8 of the current residents, who will likely become homeless. There’s no provision for offering them apartments in the new building at or near their current rents. Do they have any legal recourse?






Elise Aymer
Co-founder, Critical Diversity Solutions

Pronouns: She/her





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