PORTLAND – Portland Mayor Charlie Hales delayed the vote to move a homeless camp to the Pearl District after City Council heard from a packed house well into Thursday evening about the controversial plan.
The plan would relocate the “Right 2 Dream Too” camp, currently located at Southwest 4th Avenue and West Burnside, to a spot under the Broadway Bridge.
Background: Controversial homeless camp may be moved
Hundreds of people showed up for the meeting, which lasted several hours.
One advocate for the camp drew applause from the crowd when he asked city leaders what role property values played in the debate.
“The people in the Pearl District are weighing the monetary over humanity because it will weight property value down,” said Ibrahim Mubarak. “Maybe that's good. Maybe there will be more affordable housing.”
But opponents of the idea said money isn't the only issue. Some questioned whether the move is right solution for the homeless.
“I find it reprehensible that the city council could encourage—or in fact would apportion—our tax dollars to support tent communities,” one critic said. “Is this the best we can do?”
The hearing focused on a zoning change that would allow the camp to move. Hales decided to delay the vote. The zoning issue is one of several hurdles that must be cleared before the move can happen.