For the first time, Portland has been recognized by the prestigious U.S. News and World Report as one of the “10 Best Places to Live in the U.S.”, which cited the City’s safety and small business and creative communities as some of the reasons for Portland’s desirability.
Among the 150 metropolitan areas ranked in the report, Portland was also ranked the #1 safest place to live in the U.S., #9 for Best Places to Live for Quality of Life, and #33 for Best Places to Retire. It was ranked as the #8 Best Place to Live in the U.S., overall.
“This is a great reminder to those of us who already live here: we are so lucky to call Portland home. Our community is close-knit, engaged, and always looking for ways to energize and improve our City,” said Mayor Kate Snyder. “I encourage Portland residents to take pride in this national recognition, and for others to consider making Portland their next stop - for either a visit or a permanent change of scenery.”
“This report recognizes the great strides Portland has made as an innovation hub and economic engine, as well as the positive impact of community-minded law enforcement professionals,” said City Manager Jon Jennings. “Thanks to strategic partnerships with private-sector leaders and the dedicated expertise of the Portland Police Department, Portland is leading much of the country when it comes to innovation, public safety, and quality of life.”
The report also highlighted one of Portland’s most pressing issues: the demand for affordable housing, a challenge that the City is tackling head-on.
In the last five years, Portland has approved 2,076 housing units. 30% of which were affordable to households priced out of the housing market. During that period, Inclusionary Zoning provided 140 workforce units and collected over $2.9 million in fee-in-lieu payments, while Hotel Inclusionary Zoning garnered over $586K in fee-in-lieu payments. Portland’s Housing Trust Fund receives contributions from fee-in-lieu payments as well as short-term rental penalty fees, transfers from the short-term rental registration program, and the sale of City-owned property. Since 2017, allocations totaling $2.5 million from the Housing Trust Fund, combined with $3.7 million in federal funding, subsidized the creation of nearly 750 units of affordable housing to support working people who want to live close to where they work.
Disposition of City-owned land focused on creating housing for the “missing middle” via innovative public-private partnerships, and cooperative housing is anticipated to create more than 150 rental and homeownership opportunities.
In 2020, Portland was ranked #19 on the “Best Places to Live in the U.S.” list. In 2018, it was ranked #27.