Incumbent Mapps vs. Unseated Eudaly

(Illustration of Mingus Mapps and Chloe Eudaly) Illustration Credit - Savannah Quarum
By Clare Collins

Feb. 26, 2021

Walking through Portland since the COVID crisis began has been quite a staggering experience for many, myself included. I grew up in the Portland area and I don’t know that I’ve ever seen this level of houselessness before this year – that’s why the recent unseating of Commissioner Chloe Eudaly by newly elected Commissioner Mingus Mapps is especially deserving of our attention.

Their differing policies could have resounding impacts on the lives of those currently living on the streets, given that commissioners serve four year terms. The two differ in a number of housing related policy areas and this difference will surely impact the extent to which houselessness is reduced.

In terms of endorsements, Mapps received the backing of many development and business interests, such as Portland Metropolitan Association of Realtors, Home Builders Association of Metropolitan Portland, Union Electrical Workers, and Portland Business Alliance.

Eudaly, in contrast, received endorsements from tenant rights groups such as Community Alliance of Tenants (CAT) Action Fund, Portland Tenants United (PTU), and housing advocates Israel Bayer, Dr. Lisa K. Bates, and Laura Moulton.

How Mapps and Eudaly Differ in Policy Focus

Mapps generally favors policies that will involve business interests and developers such as constructing new buildings on vacant land for affordable housing, investing in the construction of single room occupancy (SRO) living situations and allowing developers to fund the construction of shelters.

While SROs have been disappearing over the last 50 years or so, they’ve recently made a reappearance in the Portland housing world. Despite renewed city and county-wide investment in this low-income friendly housing model over the past several years, there has been mixed support from those operating in the realm of affordable housing.

Mapps also strongly favors increasing government links to nonprofit groups that build affordable housing and of linking private and public sector groups together to create housing solutions.

Eudaly, in contrast, appears to focus her efforts on tenant protections and has said that she sides more with renters than landlords. She has already passed The Mandatory Rental Relocation Ordinance which, according to her campaign website required “landlords who were no-cause or economically evicting tenants to share in the burden of their moving expenses.”

She also helped put together and funded a “directive to develop anti-displacement strategies in the City’s 2019 budget,” and worked with the Kenton neighborhood and other local figures to site the Kenton Women's Village, a shelter working to provide a transition out of houselessness for 20 women. However, Eudaly also supported some construction projects to create affordable housing. On her website she mentioned a campaign goal for the next four years of “supporting development of affordable housing co-ops and Community Land Trusts.”

Mapps supports some renter protection and support programs, although it seems his policies do not meet the level of support for tenants Eudaly wished to reach were she elected. Mapps supports an increase in short term rent assistance and a ban on price gouging as well as increasing the number of houseless camps that have sanitation and restrooms. Although these policies will be supportive of renters and houseless individuals, Eudaly's policies would likely have gone further. Eudaly planned to pass a Tenant Bill of Rights, establish a Citywide Anti-Displacement Task Force, fund Universal Eviction Defense, and establish a Tenant Opportunity to Purchase program to create ownership opportunities for more tenants.

Where Mapps and Eudaly Agree

Both Mapps and Eudaly support measures to reduce the number of incidents in which police are involved. Eudaly supported the creation of Portland Street Response, an alternative to the police for issues of addiction, mental health, and houselessness, and Mapps has said he would like to increase its funding. Eudaly also expressed an interest in increasing the use of radar guns and other police alternatives that would be less racially biased than current traffic enforcement.

How Will Mapps’ Differing Opinions on Housing Impact the Housing Crisis?

Although it’s difficult to predict the future, we can make some rough predictions of what will happen in terms of housing based on some of the policy differences between Eudaly and Mapps. Due to Mapps’ focus on constructing new buildings and having the private and public sectors work together, we may see more of an emphasis on construction and development than tenants’ rights. Due to Mapps’ acceptance of an endorsement and a donation from the police union and his specification that houseless people who break the law will be prosecuted, we may see the police playing a larger role in housing related issues.

Mapps vs. Eudaly: Policy Comparison

Endorsements ✅

  • Mapps: Portland Metropolitan Association of Realtors, Home Builders Association of Metropolitan Portland, Union Electrical Workers, Portland Business Alliance, Pacific Green Party, Portland Police Association

  • Eudaly: Community Alliance of Tenants (CAT) Action Fund, Portland Tenants United (PTU), housing advocates Israel Bayer, Dr. Lisa K. Bates, Laura Moulton

Policy points 📝

  • Mapps:

    • Oregonian Debate:

      • Accuses Eudaly of creating chaos in the Office of Civic Rights and disrupted efforts to investigate it

      • Was accused of being quiet during racial justice protests, against defunding police, for ban on tear gas

      • Says Eudaly has received criticism from neighborhood groups – Eudaly counters that neighborhood associations don’t reflect full diversity of experiences in Portland

      • Police and BLM want the same things in many cases

      • Extend COVID eviction moratorium and research housing market for racism

    • Campaign promises:

      • The City also needs to invest more in our relationships with Non-Profits and Community Development Corporations that specifically build affordable housing.

      • Ban price gouging in the rental market.

      • Increase funding for short-term rent assistance programs.

      • Use Portland and Metro’s housing bonds to end chronic homeless in Portland. Create units of city-subsidized supportive housing for chronically homeless people, who are also disabled, mentally ill, and/or drug addicted.

      • Waive some of the system development charges associated with bringing new shelters and affordable housing online, as well as quickly address zoning issues.

      • Reinvent single room occupancy living situations for the 21st century. The current system development charges make this kind of development too expensive to build.

      • Modernize and finish developing our homeless service system. And let’s fill them. For example, you might have noticed that Central City Concern’s Hooper Detox has closed its “sobering station.” That program started in 1985, basically as a “drunk tank.” But over time, the population served by this center has evolved from drunks to violent drug addicts. The CCC is not prepared to serve that population. This is a sign of the mismatch between the real problems the city faces and the programs we have inherited.

      • Increase the number of organized, supportive camps that provide sanitation and restrooms.

      • Connect housing with supportive services like mental health care, alcohol and drug treatment, and job training. Harbor of Hope is a good model for that.  The private sector and nonprofit agencies like “Transition Projects” came together to create a shelter space that includes intensive help from service providers to help the people who stay at the shelter get into permanent housing as quickly as possible. We need to work more effectively and collaboratively with the County and existing service providers to  provide wrap around social services to the homeless including mental health.

      • Let the private sector help.  Let’s ask and encourage the business community to constructively engage with being part of the solution to our homeless crisis. If a developer wants to fund a shelter, let them.

      • “I used to help manage the City’s Crime prevention program. That experience taught me several things. First, being homeless is not a crime. Second, all houseless people are people. And most houseless people are decent folk.  It is also true that some criminals and predators also happen to be houseless. Being homeless does not make you less of a citizen, but also being homeless does not free you of the obligation to be a good citizen and neighbor. Houselessness is not a crime, though we do need to hold people accountable for unlawful behavior. “ Seems to imply he will be using police to enforce the law in some manner, although he makes it unclear how.

    • Street Roots:

      • Extend protections on price gouging

      • Extend eviction moratorium

      • Create more programs like Portland Street Response

      • Create mental health supports

      • Willing to take police funding for mental health services

      • Have state investigate police shootings

      • Have an independent police review with the power to investigate--doesn’t know about power to change policy or punish officers

      • Thinks getting rid of the gun violence reduction team contributed partially to rising shootings

      • Wants to have council members elected in districts instead of at large

      • Wants a city manager and more city council members, thinks the current system has kept government depts from working together on housing

  • Eudaly:

    • Already accomplished:

      • “Developed and passed The Mandatory Rental Relocation Ordinance (or "Relo"), which helped stabilize thousands of renters in their homes by requiring landlords who were no-cause or economically evicting tenants to share in the burden of their moving expenses.”

      • “Developed and passed The Fair Access in Renting (or "FAIR") Ordinance, which lowers multiple barriers to housing and reduces housing discrimination.”

      • Developed and funded a directive to develop anti-displacement strategies in the City’s 2019 budget

      • Worked closely with the Kenton neighborhood and community advocates to site the Kenton Women's Village, an alternative shelter site which is home to 20 women transitioning out of homelessness

      • Deprioritized enforcement on RVs and tiny homes parked in private driveways to allow homeowners to provide safe sites for people living in them

      • Made major improvements to the Bureau of Development Services permitting process (including online applications and plans submitting)

      • Created a small business concierge service to help small developers and community organizations navigate the permitting process

    • Wanted to:

      • Pass a Tenants' Bill of Rights

      • Establish a Citywide Anti-Displacement Task Force

      • Fund for Universal Eviction Defense

      • Establish a Tenant Opportunity to Purchase program

      • Roll back decades of discriminatory and exclusionary zoning laws to allow all types of housing--ADUs, duplexes, multi-family--in all neighborhoods

      • Create an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) financing tool which will allow average Portland homeowners to contribute to our housing inventory

      • Develop incentives for affordability and accessibility for ADUs

      • Support development of affordable housing co-ops and Community Land Trusts

      • Fully fund the Rental Services Office

      • Pass the HereTogether ballot measure to fund homeless services transportation project that will focus on improving pedestrian and cycling opportunities within neighborhoods while decreasing car traffic volumes and speeds on residential streets

    • Oregonian Debate:

      • Police have too much power, don’t explain why funding increases are needed, wants to move traffic enforcement out of police

      • Increase use of radar guns--less racial bias

      • Says she sides more with renters than homeowners

      • Has been lobbying federal officials for bills to address rent/mortgage crisis

      • Much of criticism of her seems to stem from her personal leadership style – lack of collegiality – Eudaly says much of the criticism comes from people not liking her answers to their questions, she’s direct, she’s gotten a lot done

    • Street Roots:

      • Helped establish a citywide anti-displacement task force and proposed universal eviction defense fund

      • Reform mortgage interest tax deductions that give too many tax breaks to the wealthy and upper middle class and spend that money on affordable housing

      • Wants city to use unused community centers (schools, publicly owned buildings), to serve houseless

      • Convened meetings with city staff and mayor and reduced the number of camps that are swept, small number of camps are still swept and she thinks it’s unacceptable that these camps aren’t guaranteed a bed, ended use of prison labor for camp cleanup

      • Elimination of gun violence task force did not contribute to the rise in gun violence

      • Police union is biggest obstacle

      • If she had continued she would have implemented anti-displacement measures and work to get people into homeownership opportunities

Eudaly website: https://www.votechloe.com/housing

Mapps website: https://www.mingusmapps.com/houselessness1

Oregonian debate: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L5WpfjFRIp8&t=2034s&ab_channel=TheOregonian

Mapps Street Roots: https://www.streetroots.org/news/2020/10/14/mingus-mapps-city-council-candidates-homelessness-gun-violence-and-police-oversight

Eudaly Street Roots: https://www.streetroots.org/news/2020/10/14/chloe-eudaly-city-council-candidates-homelessness-gun-violence-police-oversight#:~:text=Courtesy%20photo