“Priced Out: 15 Years of Gentrification in Portland, Oregon”

 

"Priced Out" is an investigative and personal look at how skyrocketing housing prices are displacing Portland's black community and reshaping the entire city.  The feature-length documentary explores the complexities and contradictions of gentrification and what neighborhood life means after the era of "The Ghetto." 

The film is a sequel to the 2002 documentary “NorthEast Passage: The Inner City and the American Dream.”  

"Priced Out" is currently in production with an expected release in winter of 2016/17.

A nonprofit project in partnership with Northwest Documentary Arts & Media

 

Two local residents, Cornelius Swart and Spencer Wolf, took five years to produce the original film.  The two are teaming up once again for the sequel.

Please consider giving to this important project by joining us on Kickstarter and Facebook.

In the late 1990s Nikki Williams, a black single mother, embraced the idea of gentrification. At the time her block was filled with drug dealers and boarded up storefronts lined her neighborhood streets.

Now, 15 years after the film was shot, Governing Magazine has ranked Portland as the Most Gentrified City in America. Nikki's neighborhood has become one of the trendiest places in the country to live. Crime is down, houses have been fixed up, and new bars and restaurants open up almost every day. But half the black population has left and average home prices have gone from $30,000 to $410,000. 

The neighborhoods of North/Northeast Portland have gone from being majority black to majority white. Rents are climbing, homes are being replaced with apartment blocks, and the word “gentrification” is on everyone’s lips.

Why did such a dramatic change occur and what does this change mean for residents of other communities that face gentrification?

“Priced Out” will reconnect with the residents and activists featured in the first film to see what’s happened to the neighborhood and find out what will happen next as the community continues to struggle with its identity and its place in the American Dream.

Please consider giving to this important project.


Meet Nikki Williams

In the late 1990s, Williams, a black single mother, embraced the gentrification that was making inroads into her community. But more than 15 years later Williams found herself one of the last black residents on her block. “Priced Out” follows Williams as she decides to sell her home--built by Habitat for Humanity--and move to Dallas, Texas in search of a new black community.

Local Concern / National Issue

Gentrification, once a phenomena that occurred only in big cities like New York, Chicago and San Francisco is now cropping up in cities from San Antonio to St. Louis to Portland, Maine

Why is this happening?

The film will reexamine public policy and economic forces surrounding gentrification to create a time-lapse portrait of North/Northeast Portland’s rapid transformation and what it does and does not have in common to other gentrifying communities in the nation. 


A Dramatic Transformation: Before / After

North Mississippi Avenue and Shaver Street in 2000 when the area was mostly an abandoned commercial district.

The same corner in 2015 is now ground zero for one of the city's trendiest shopping and nightlife areas.