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Housing Portland 
Jonah Watt, Ben Miller, Claudia Villar, 
Hannah Rafkin, Peter Nauffts 
www.mainepersonalinjurylaw.com
Research Claims and Research Goals 
● Access to housing is a fundamental right of the city. Equal access 
to housing is a matter of justice and the common good. 
● Lesson of the Fed Up Honeys: 
Gentrification, “growth,” is exclusionary. 
● Our Bottom Line: Portland has work to do 
to remain accessible to all, especially to 
those most in need.
Data Source: City of Portland (2014)
$246,300 
$105,000 
$123,400 
$355,900 
$275,800 
$338,800 
$79,000 
$205,000 
Source Data: Social 
Explorer (2003-2014)
“The boundaries of social and spatial 
exclusion are clearly visible to longtime 
residents, even if newcomers are sometimes 
oblivious of the geography of inequality that 
divides their neighborhood.” 1 
[1] Cahill (2006) 
Source: Ibsen
Housing Case Study: East Bayside 
Social Explorer US Census Data 
Higher rents and/or the imposition of surcharges could result from efforts to 
augment returns. For individual tenants, these measures may cause declining 
living conditions and increased housing insecurity; the loss of affordable units 
due to either physical deterioration or increased rents could pose a challenge to 
lower-income renters collectively. 1 
[1] Fields & Uffer (2014)
Affordable/Unaffordable Housing 
Portland Press Herald 
Gothamist
Finding Affordable Housing 
Craigslist lowincomehousing.us
Solution: Affordable Portland Map 
Maine State Housing Authority Data 
Listings
Homelessness 
Maine’s homeless: 14.6% 
increase 
Nation’s homeless: 10% drop 
(2010-2014) 
bangordailynews.com
Homeless Youth 
● Vulnerable to exploitation 
● Developmental consequences of 
sleep deprivation 
● Less predictable circumstances 
huffingtonpost.com
HOUSEportland 
Real-time # bed 
openings in Portland 
shelters 
Username and 
password on webpage 
with linked cell # for 
SMS alerts 
“Alert” option: push 
notifications and/or 
texts when shelter 
nears capacity 
Embedded maps 
with personalized 
directions to 
nearest shelters 
Option for 
temporary 
employment 
notifications 
CONSTRUCTION LABOR 
NEEDED: Tmr, Wed Nov 
12; be @ Oxford & Elm 
@ 7AM 
Empower people, especially 
youth, to find a temporary 
shelter quickly and easily
Broadening the Response 
● Meeting needs beyond sleep and food to get this 
population on their feet, and keep them on their feet 
● Get Portland’s individuals, businesses, and 
organizations involved to bolster these efforts 
● Network of community organization - foster “social 
interaction and exchange” 1 
[1] Mitchell (2003)
Urban Dialogue 
● Concerns from businesses and 
tourists: “Is Portland ‘too attractive’ 
to homeless people?” 1 
● “In the city, different people with 
different projects must necessarily 
struggle with one another” 2 
● Get groups and people “with 
different projects” talking to each 
other 2 
portlandmaine.com 
pressherald.com 
[1] Bangor Daily News (2012); [2] Mitchell (2003)
BoostPortland 
● App, website, and texting service 
● Users can both request and offer 
help, and receive daily updates. 
● Range of individualized support. 
Examples: 
○ Can help teach basic computer skills, will 
be at the library from 2-5 on Sunday 
afternoon. 
○ Giving away used sweatshirts and winter 
coats. Reply for address. 
○ Need ride to job interview at 2pm 
Thursday. From Preble Street to Warren Ave 
● Business engagement 
● Accessibility concerns 
handup.com
Munjoy Hill 
East Bayside 
Bayside 
Parkside 
US Census
What We Want to Avoid... 
Ghettotracker.com
Million Dollar Block Project 
Spatial Information Design Lab
Summary Findings 
Highly desirable, but room for 
improvement: 
● Middle income earners being 
squeezed out due to gentrification. 
● Homelessness on the rise. 
● Marginalization of poor, mentally 
but also physically. 
Improve access to the things that 
make it so great!
Thank you

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Bowdoin College Digital Image of the City - Housing

  • 1. Housing Portland Jonah Watt, Ben Miller, Claudia Villar, Hannah Rafkin, Peter Nauffts www.mainepersonalinjurylaw.com
  • 2. Research Claims and Research Goals ● Access to housing is a fundamental right of the city. Equal access to housing is a matter of justice and the common good. ● Lesson of the Fed Up Honeys: Gentrification, “growth,” is exclusionary. ● Our Bottom Line: Portland has work to do to remain accessible to all, especially to those most in need.
  • 3.
  • 4.
  • 5. Data Source: City of Portland (2014)
  • 6. $246,300 $105,000 $123,400 $355,900 $275,800 $338,800 $79,000 $205,000 Source Data: Social Explorer (2003-2014)
  • 7. “The boundaries of social and spatial exclusion are clearly visible to longtime residents, even if newcomers are sometimes oblivious of the geography of inequality that divides their neighborhood.” 1 [1] Cahill (2006) Source: Ibsen
  • 8. Housing Case Study: East Bayside Social Explorer US Census Data Higher rents and/or the imposition of surcharges could result from efforts to augment returns. For individual tenants, these measures may cause declining living conditions and increased housing insecurity; the loss of affordable units due to either physical deterioration or increased rents could pose a challenge to lower-income renters collectively. 1 [1] Fields & Uffer (2014)
  • 10. Finding Affordable Housing Craigslist lowincomehousing.us
  • 11. Solution: Affordable Portland Map Maine State Housing Authority Data Listings
  • 12. Homelessness Maine’s homeless: 14.6% increase Nation’s homeless: 10% drop (2010-2014) bangordailynews.com
  • 13. Homeless Youth ● Vulnerable to exploitation ● Developmental consequences of sleep deprivation ● Less predictable circumstances huffingtonpost.com
  • 14. HOUSEportland Real-time # bed openings in Portland shelters Username and password on webpage with linked cell # for SMS alerts “Alert” option: push notifications and/or texts when shelter nears capacity Embedded maps with personalized directions to nearest shelters Option for temporary employment notifications CONSTRUCTION LABOR NEEDED: Tmr, Wed Nov 12; be @ Oxford & Elm @ 7AM Empower people, especially youth, to find a temporary shelter quickly and easily
  • 15. Broadening the Response ● Meeting needs beyond sleep and food to get this population on their feet, and keep them on their feet ● Get Portland’s individuals, businesses, and organizations involved to bolster these efforts ● Network of community organization - foster “social interaction and exchange” 1 [1] Mitchell (2003)
  • 16. Urban Dialogue ● Concerns from businesses and tourists: “Is Portland ‘too attractive’ to homeless people?” 1 ● “In the city, different people with different projects must necessarily struggle with one another” 2 ● Get groups and people “with different projects” talking to each other 2 portlandmaine.com pressherald.com [1] Bangor Daily News (2012); [2] Mitchell (2003)
  • 17. BoostPortland ● App, website, and texting service ● Users can both request and offer help, and receive daily updates. ● Range of individualized support. Examples: ○ Can help teach basic computer skills, will be at the library from 2-5 on Sunday afternoon. ○ Giving away used sweatshirts and winter coats. Reply for address. ○ Need ride to job interview at 2pm Thursday. From Preble Street to Warren Ave ● Business engagement ● Accessibility concerns handup.com
  • 18. Munjoy Hill East Bayside Bayside Parkside US Census
  • 19. What We Want to Avoid... Ghettotracker.com
  • 20. Million Dollar Block Project Spatial Information Design Lab
  • 21. Summary Findings Highly desirable, but room for improvement: ● Middle income earners being squeezed out due to gentrification. ● Homelessness on the rise. ● Marginalization of poor, mentally but also physically. Improve access to the things that make it so great!