Displacement Vulnerability

Between 1990 and 2014, a larger share of the Portland metro area’s population have become vulnerable to displacement from their neighborhoods because of changing housing market and demographic dynamics. During the period, households with those characteristics have increasingly become concentrated at the edges of the region, rather than in its center. Consistent with the City of Portland’s Gentrification and Displacement Study methodology, vulnerable populations are defined as: households renting versus owning, belonging to communities of color, not having a college degree, and being lower income. Census tracts with three or four of the risk factors are considered at risk for housing displacement. Over the period, displacement vulnerability scores fluctuated as demographics shifted. Many of the East Portland neighborhoods which were vulnerable to displacement in the 1990s have since become less vulnerable as housing prices rose and lower-income residents moved farther away from city center. This change is particularly dramatic in inner Northeast Portland, which was a vulnerable area in the 1990s and by 2020 is projected to have zero to one factors of displacement vulnerability.

Assumptions:

  • Vulnerability Score Methodology:
    ECONorthwest gathered data on the following four risk factors from the 1990 and 2000 Decennial Census and 2009-2014 5-year American Community Survey for the Three-County Area. Estimates were adjusted to the lower boundary of the given margin of error.
  • Evaluation Criteria:
    Each risk factor (four total) was given a Vulnerability Score of 1 if the answer was yes to the following questions:
    • Is the proportion of non-white individuals greater than the three-county average in the given year?
    • Is the proportion of the population 25+ without a bachelor’s degree greater than the three-county average in the given year?
    • Is the proportion of households with income at or below 80% of median family income greater than the three-county average in the given year?
    • Is the proportion of rented units greater than the three-county average in the given year?