Dear Commissioners of Planning and Sustainability
As the Pastoral Associate at St. Charles Catholic Church, located in the Cully neighborhood, it is my privilege to be the church liaison on issues of social justice. St. Charles supports the zoning proposal without amendments #5 #6 #7. We value the benefits that mobile home parks bring to our neighborhood and understand the detrimental effect that a park closure would have on the neighborhood/community. This is why our parish has actively been involved in preserving our neighborhood MHPs for the last 3 years.
St. Charles in partnership with Living Cully and other allies built a successful campaign to save the Oak Leaf mobile home park from development 2 years ago. City (financial) intervention was needed because the detrimental ripple effects of a mass displacement was a cost the city could not afford. We are thankful to the Council for taking the bold and courageous action that was called for. This model, however, is not a sustainable option when it comes to the 58 mobile home parks throughout the city. The zoning proposal before the commission moves our city in the right direction towards an effective solution in preserving an affordable housing option serving thousands of Portland families, including those who do not/will not qualify for alternative affordable options. In working class neighborhoods such as Cully, closures have an effect on everything from the way in which churches administer resources effectively to low income residents, to the overall security and well being of neighborhood schools and small businesses. The closure of a mobile home park would result in a huge tear in the relational fabric that keeps communities like ours safe and functioning. Further, it would mean the loss of the only affordable housing option for those who do not qualify for the alternatives. Those who are most vulnerable.
My family and I moved into a Habitat for Humanity home on 64th and Killingsworth (right across from the Arbor trailer park) 2 years ago. Since then, I have come to realize a few things.
1.) The local elementary school, which is over 53% Hispanic and 15% African American, would lose 20% of its student enrollment. For Schools like ours, already struggling to survive this sort of lose would be detrimental and would likely force consolidation of facilities, meaning loss of jobs and increased class size in already undeserved neighborhoods comprised of undeserved people.
2.) Many families living across the street from my family would not qualify for alternate affordable housing options such as a CDCs or Habitat for humanity. For several reasons, including but not limited to credit, immigration documentation, and ability to access and participate in the long processes involved in receiving affordable housing, many of these families would be forced into homelessness or (if they were lucky enough to have the resources) to relocate to another city.
3.) Institutions like St. Charles’s St. Vincent de Paul provide food and utility/rental assistance to thousands in the neighborhood. If the Cully neighborhood was to experience a large park closure, our SVDP would lose volunteers and financial donors (currently living in the parks), as well as the ability to provide assistance to those forced to live on the streets or outside of the parish bounds. The needs will be increased but simply transplanted to areas not prepared to accommodate these needs.
4.) The fundamentals of a mobile home park provide a potential (more than any neighborhood or apartment I have witnessed) for a communal distribution of social welfare that would be extremely costly for the public or non-profit to replicate. The multi-generational, relational fabrics embedded in these parks are priceless to the safety and well-being of the entire community. Loss of this free community-supplied social well-fare would result in an increased burden on our police departments, public social service agencies, non-profits, gang prevention programs, and schools.
St. Charles Catholic Church urges the commission to support the Manufactured Dwelling Parks zoning proposal without those amendments that would offer more easily accessible avenues to development of current MHPs, whether or not they are identified as “affordable” or market rate.
Blessings and Solidarity
St. Charles Catholic Church
5310 NE 42nd Avenue ❖ Portland, OR 97218-1510 ❖ 503.281.6461
THANK YOU to hundreds of mobile home residents and supporters who showed up wearing orange to the Planning and Sustainability Commission (PSC) hearing on Tuesday, June 12th. Together, through heartfelt testimony and visible support, we called on PCS to vote YES on a proposal to protect Portland’s 56 mobile home parks with a new zoning designation.
At the end of the meeting, the PSC postponed the vote until its July 10 meeting. The vote was delayed because Commissioners submitted several amendments that would change the proposal. St. Charles fears that the proposed amendments would seriously weaken the proposal by making it too easy for a mobile home park to be redeveloped.
We urge all mobile home residents and supporters to submit testimony to the PSC: “Adopt the original manufactured dwelling park zoning proposal and reject any amendments that make it easier to redevelop a park.” You can submit your testimony HERE until June 22nd.
Read more about the proposal and our action to support the new zoning designation HERE.
Check out photos from the event on the Cully Mobile Home Program facebook page HERE.
And watch Mobile Home Park residents and allies testify at the PSC Hearing HERE.
Submit your testimony HERE
GRACIAS a todos que vinieron llevando naranja a una reunión de la Comisión de Planificación y Sostenibilidad (PSC) el martes 12 de junio. Unidos, testimonios personales y honestos, y su acto de presencia, promovimos un voto de SI en una propuesta para proteger a 56 parques de casas móviles en la ciudad de Portland, por medio de una nueva designación de zonificación.
Al fin de la reunión, la PSC pospuso el voto hasta su reunión del 10 de julio. Se pospuso el voto porque unos Comisionados presentaron enmiendas para cambiar la propuesta, y la PSC quiere más tiempo para considerar estos cambios. San Carlos tiene miedo que las enmiendas propuestas pueden dañar la propuesta de zonificación por medio de hacerlo demasiado fácil que inversionistas reemplacen parques de casas móviles con otro tipo de viviendas.
Urgimos a los residentes de casas móviles y sus apoyantes para submitir testimonio al PSC: “Adopta la propuesta original de zonificación para los parques de casas móviles, y rechaza cualquier enmienda que se hace más fácil reurbanizar un parque.” Se puede submitir su testimonio AQUI hasta el 22 de junio.
Puede leer más sobre la propuesta y nuestra acción aquí.
Visita nuestro página de Facebook del programa Cully Mobile Home aquí para ver las fotos del evento.
Y puede escuchar los testimonios de residentes de casas móviles aquí!
Catholic social teaching is built on a commitment to the poor. This commitment arises from our experiences of Christ in the Eucharist.
St. Vincent DePaul