Causes of Homelessness

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Housing is too expensive and jobs don’t pay enough

In Portland, we don’t have enough homes for every person who needs a
place to live, and new people are moving here faster than we can build homes. When supply is low and demand is high, price goes up.

Housing is considered “affordable” if it costs no more than 30% of a household’s income.

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Persistent Oppression and discrimination

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The housing market has intentionally and systematically denied homeownership opportunities to people of color, people living with disabilities, immigrants, and other minority groups.

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Things like redlining, discriminatory lending practices, and displacement through gentrification have created generations of poor people of color without any accumulation and transfer of wealth between generations.


Lack of Affordable Healthcare

Even with the ACA, families still face high deductibles, expensive prescriptions, and large co-pays. These expensive costs can push a family over the edge – deciding whether to pay a $1,500 deductible for a medical emergency or $1,400 in rent is a hard decision to make.


The average cost of childcare for one child in Portland is $932 per month. It’s often a catch-22 for families: they need childcare to get a job interview and get a job, but need income from a job to be able to afford childcare.

Lack of Affordable Childcare