Illegal Airbnbs and the Portland Housing Crisis [Priced Out Podcast EP 20]

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Illegal Airbnbs could pull up to 1,500 housing units from Portland each year despite a new city clampdown, according to data from the website InsideAirbnb. Cornelius and his friend Thacher Schmid just published an investigative report in Portland Mercury about illegal Airbnbs and their impact on the Portland housing crisis.

In this special edition podcast, Cornelius and Thacher talk about their story, about the data they used, and why Portlanders still love Airbnb even though most seem to know hosts can make the housing crisis worse.

Full disclosure: Cornelius Swart is in the process of permitting a room in his house as an Airbnb. He ran it as a test over the summer then shut it down. He will live in the house full time and will only rent the room out less than three months a year or so.

Priced Out Podcast Repost [EP 1- Welcome to the Pod]

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Welcome to the first episode of Priced Out: The Podcast about Gentrification. Hosted by Andru Morgan and documentary filmmaker Cornelius Swart the director of Priced Out: Gentrification in Portland, Oregon. In today's podcast, we will discuss gentrification in Portland Oregon as well as the film and what to expect next from Priced Out.

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Priced Out Podcast Relaunches on iTunes, Spotify, More

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The Priced Out Podcast has officially relaunched and is now available on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, and four other major podcast platforms.

For almost a year, producers Andru Morgan and Cornelius Swart have been working away on the Priced Out Podcast: Tales of Gentrification. The audio program is about gentrification, urban growth, race, and class in urban America. It's been posting on our YouTube channel since January, racking up 38,000 minutes of watch time.

We’re now moving the home for the regularly scheduled podcast show over to Anchor, and we want you to follow! You will still be able to find some in-studio recorded interviews on our YouTube channel from time to time.

The show is an excellent way to get into the weeds on local issues like zoning. You can hear about what’s happening in rapidly gentrifying cities like Nashville. Or in cities where gentrification feels like it’s not happening at all, like St. Louis.

We also do follow-up interviews with some of the most compelling people featured in the documentary Priced Out. Those include a Where Is She Now interview with Nikki Williams and a two-part interview with African American Realtor (and controversial activist) Fred Stewart.

Our Anchor homepage will also feature a way to contribute to the podcast. If you like the show, you can help to ensure that we keep going.  

Producer Andru Morgan is a pro, and he and Cornelius would love to grow the program along the lines of the higher-production-value shows we’ve done, like our Battle for Rent Control in Long Beach, California episode. We’d also like to do more in-depth storytelling. We have a follow-up story, also from Long Beach, about a woman who literally had to fight for her life to free herself from an abusive husband, only to be confronted with a race-based eviction. It’s a compelling story. We plan to bring you more of them in the future.

So please check out the new show and follow up where you go to get your pods to cast.

~ Team Priced Out

Contribute to the Priced Out Podcast on Anchor

Available on seven popular podcast platforms

iTunes: LINK
Apple Podcast:
LINK
Spotify:
LINK
Stitcher: LINK
Google Podcast [Android only]: LINK
RadioPublic: LINK
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Castbox:
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Distribution Deal, Falls Shows and Ways to Help

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Priced Out is headed to California next month for a screening and discussion sponsored by Housing Long Beach. Producer Cornelius Swart will be flying down to talk with residents of Long Beach, California. This city just south of Los Angeles has, like Portland, seen massive rent increases and apartment development in recent years, and has been grappling with implementing rent control. Check out a discussion on the BATTLE FOR LONG BEACH RENT CONTROL, this Thursday on the Priced Out Podcast.

UPCOMING PORTLAND SHOWS

Monday, Sept 10
P-Town Media will be sponsoring a big screening at the Mission Theater. 6:00 PM FREE

Monday, Oct 8
The Boise Neighborhood Association at The Q Center. 6:30 PM.  FREE

Thursday, Nov 8
Portland Architectural Heritage Center. 6:30 PM. Donations encouraged

Our bookings are starting to pick up again now that summer is winding down, so check our Screenings page regularly or follow us on, TWITTER or FB for new listings.

RENT REFORMS NEED YOUR HELP

Commissioner Chloe Eudaly plans to advance a package of rent reforms this month at city council. These reforms include pro-renter changes to laws governing security deposits and credit checks.  If you are looking to support local efforts to stabilize renters, contact Eudaly's office to find out what you can do. CONTACT: Josiah Barber, Constituent Relations Specialist
503.823.4682, josiah.barber@portlandoregon.gov.


NEW SOLUTIONS PAGE

We’ve recently created a new SOLUTIONS page to go with our Get Involved page. Please check it out and share it. The most common question we get when people see the film is “What can I do?”

The Solutions page highlights resources, articles, policies, and ideas on how to be a better neighbor and address social, economic, and cultural displacement—all things that concerned neighbors should know.

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HOW YOU CAN HELP THE FILM

Tell a friend to sponsor a show!

Even though this is a local feature film about Portland’s most pressing social issue, we are continually surprised by the number of people who are not aware of the film. So if you know someone who might be interested in sponsoring a screening, please send us a note at pricedoutmovie@gmail.com.

Have you seen priced out?

Please RATE US on our IMDb page. The more ratings we get, the better—unless you hate the film, then please delete this email immediately.

We encourage you to please POST A SHORT REVIEW on our IMDb page as well. It’s a huge help for our online profile as we push to get the film seen in more communities outside of Portland.

Have you purchased the film or hosted a screening?

We are always in need of dynamic pull quotes from educators, professionals, and community groups that have used the film. Please send us a quote of one to two sentences to pricedoutmovie@gmail.com.


DISTRIBUTION DEAL

We’re happy to announce that we have reached a distribution deal with Collective Eye, a boutique distribution house for the institutional market. Collective Eye is an excellent group of cool and creative young folks who come from filmmaking backgrounds. They carry very high-quality films, so it’s an honor to be in their catalog. And best of all, they’re Portland locals! 

Collective Eye will come on board in September, which means we will have to increase our prices to comply with their standards. So if you know professors, teachers, or someone who might want to purchase the film or be interested in screening it, please send them to us now while prices are still low. PricedoutMovie@gmail.com

Thank you for all of your support for this project and your concern about this number-one issue facing American cities today.

Let’s keep the conversation going—LOUDLY!

DVDs arrive, Priced Out goes International, PBS spotlight

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It’s been a while since our last Priced Out update, and a lot has happened.

Priced Out DVDs have been authored, shipped and orders are being fulfilled.  The process took much longer than expected because Cornelius insisted on doing the whole thing himself (to save money). We did save money, but the authoring process using an edition of Adobe Encore (the program is no longer supported by Adobe) took over a month to do after all the glitches were ironed out. The product is a very lovely quality DVD.  It includes menus, chapters, closed captions, Priced Out with filmmaker commentary and our first film, NorthEast Passage, with its menus and chapters. The production owes a lot to our friends at NW Documentary who put up with Cornelius camping out in their office for what seemed like all of the spring. 

These DVDs are for the institutional and educational market only at this point. These DVDs run $120 or more.  So, these DVDs are mostly for schools and a handful of folks like Kickstarter supporters, limited pre-sales, and superfans.
 

They’re here! What’s inside that unboxing video? #pricedout

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Filmmakers distributed through a process called “windowing” in which increasingly larger audiences are exposed to the film. Classic windows are festivals, theatrical, broadcast, educational, digital (AKA Netflix), and VOD (aka iTunes, Amazon, etc.). While the industry is changing very quickly the educational market is still our best way to make back some of the money that went into the film.  We are talking with distributors. Hopefully, we’ll have the movie broadly available on Amazon, etc., by the end of next year or sooner.

Speaking of distribution, Priced Out was accepted into this August’s Social World Film Festival’s Young Film Market in Naples Italy. It’s our first international exposure.  A film market is a non-competitive showcase of films where potential distributors can see and option films, just like a festival but without the glamor.  We’ll take it!  It looks like a very exciting event, and maybe next time we’ll have the budget to send Cornelius out there to soak up all the Euroglitz.
 


Did you catch the PBS Newshour feature on Portland’s Right to Return policy?  The policy is designed to provide additional housing assistance to African Americans who were involuntarily displaced by gentrification in Albina.

The show featured a lot of great folks who were also involved in the Priced Out production, including Maxine Fitzpatrick of Portland Community Reinvestment Initiative. That group is working on putting out 1,000 new affordable homes in Albina over the next ten years.

Cornelius gets a cameo in this excellent report. Check it out. It’s not the Amalfi Coast, but we’re all happy he’s getting the message out there.

Please follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and our YouTube Channel for regular news and updates about gentrification and affordable housing in Portland and other cities.

More Shows, DVD Done, and Lawyers! (Spring Update)

 Community Screening at Portland's African American community center, Self Enhancement Inc.

Community Screening at Portland's African American community center, Self Enhancement Inc.

Spring has been a busy time for Priced Out as we wrap up our DVD authoring project and continue to roll out community screenings in Portland and around the country.

Demand for Priced Out screenings is still building from folks here in Portland and increasingly across the country. We’ve recently had screenings at the University of Massachusetts and we’ve been contacted by folks in Cleveland, Long Beach, Calif., Atlanta, and Burlington, Vermont.

While we are still in a local phase of outreach, other parts of the country continue to find us. Now, we hope to wrap up our local community screening campaign here this spring.

So far, we’ve had some powerful and heated discussions about the issues after the show. The producers feel that the post-screening Q&A is where the real work takes place. If you know of an organization that might be able to sponsor a show, please check out our community screening kit on our website.

[ABOVE: Discussion after screening at the Vanport Mosiac Festival in May of 2017.]

We’ve had four screenings this spring, and another five shows are lined up for the rest of April and May. These include at least one screening of our first film about gentrification, NorthEast Passage: The Inner City and the American Dream, on May 3.

We’ve seen growing interest in NorthEast Passage, which addressed gentrification in the 1990s, so we decided to include it in our upcoming DVD. We are just wrapping up the authoring process. The DVD package will consist of Priced Out and NorthEast Passage, with chapter selections and closed captions. The closed captions for both Priced Out and NorthEast Passage were donated through the generosity of Portland Community College. We really appreciate that! We’ve also included Priced Out with filmmakers’ commentary from director Cornelius Swart and co-producer and editor Eric Maxen.

When the DVD is complete, we’ll be able to move on to the next phase of the outreach campaign, which will focus more on engaging communities outside of Portland as well as talking to companies that do educational and broadcast distribution.

It was a lot of work to get here. Swart spent almost all of March doing legal review and insurance work on the film to make sure all rights, waivers, and legal details were locked down for our next big push.

The production has also applied for some grants to do impact campaigning. These would provide funding that the production could use to organize screenings in hard to reach working-class, ethnic, and immigrant communities. The goal here would be to raise awareness and to work with partners who could connect residents with housing resources and campaigns.

We’re also working on more ways to cover gentrification in the daily news cycle and around the country. Stay tuned for the official launch of Priced Out: The Podcast. Until then, you can follow us on our new Twitter account and on Facebook as we continue to bring you stories and conversations about gentrification and the housing crisis in American cities.

Gentrification in Nashville

 By Kaldari [Public domain], from  Wikimedia Commons

By Kaldari [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons

Today on our Priced Out podcast, Andru and Cornelius talk about the Black Panther premiere, Luke Cage, and an upcoming screening in Nashville of our first gentrification documentary, NorthEast Passage: The Inner City and the American Dream.

Students at Tennessee State University, an historically black college/university, chose to host a screening of NorthEast Passage on February 20 as part of their Black History Month celebrations. 

Despite being a sequel to Priced Out, NorthEast Passage is a very different film, taking a deep look into what it's like living in poor urban neighborhoods, and how gentrification can seem like a solution to persistent issues of crime and disinvestment.

We'll talk with student organizer Marie Baugh about what resonated with her about NorthEast Passage and why she thinks it's relevant to gentrification in Nashville today.

Nashville has been described as the South's New Metropolis and an "it" city by The New York Times.

In 2016, 100 people a day moved to this city known as the capital of the country music industry.

 Tifinie Capehart, Nashville realtor and former city planner. 

Tifinie Capehart, Nashville realtor and former city planner. 

Nashville's growth roughly parallels what has happened in Portland, Oregon, a formerly sleepy, mid-sized town on the West Coast now congested with new development, residents, and diversified industries.

As we see with other cities around the country, Nashville's growth has been directed into central city and historically black neighborhoods that are close to downtown and have walkable scale development.

In 2016, there were over 1,000 residential demolition permits in Nashville. That's roughly three homes demolished each day. Some central neighborhoods saw between 200 and 300 demolitions, with one or more units going in to replace each destroyed home.

Black neighborhoods have seen a massive amount of displacement already, with some neighborhoods seeing anywhere from 20 to 50 percent declines in their black population.


We'll also talk with realtor and former city planner Tifinie Capehart about what is propelling the growth and who these new residents are. Tifinie will discuss how the sense of community is holding up under the strain of such tremendous growth pressure.

 

For more information about gentrification in Nashville, we recommend the Tennessean's laudable and ambitious series called "Costs of Growth and Change." [SEE BELOW]

 

Of special interest are the following articles on the impact of growth on the black population and the strain growth puts on neighborhoods.

 

More free shows coming up this February

[ABOVE: Click on photo to see slideshow of January's show at Portland Community College. Photos by Andru Morgan.]

As we head deeper into February Priced Out continues to show in communities around the region and the nation. We have five shows coming up (so far) in February including a show in Nashville, TN and Tulsa, OK.

FRIDAY FEB 16
PRICED OUT AT SEI
Priced Out with Panel Discussion
Followed on Feb 17 by a screening of I am Not Your Negro and discussion with James Baldwin's niece Aisha Karefa-Smart. 
3920 N.Kerby Ave.
Portland, OR 97227

6 pm to 8 pm
Free tickets here

FEB 18
PRICED OUT WITH Q&A AT THE BEAVERTON LIBRARY
12375 SW 5th St.
Beaverton, OR 97005

2 pm to 4 pm
Free

FEB 22
PRICED OUT AT CERIMON HOUSE (ALBERTA ARTS DISTRICT)
Cerimon House
5131 NE 23rd Ave.
Portland, OR 97211

6:30 pm (doors open)
7 pm to 9 pm (screening and discussion)
Free

Producers seem to get requests for screenings several times a week, so check out our screenings page or follow us on Facebook for up-to-date info.

Advocates Look to Legislature for $41 Million More for Affordable Housing

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Housing advocates are rallying their base and urging lawmakers to increase revenue for affordable housing as the 2018 legislative session gets ready to start on Monday, February 5.

“All across Oregon, communities are experiencing a housing crisis,” said Alison McIntosh of the Neighborhood Partnerships. “We have a vacancy rate below one percent in Medford and Ashland, communities in Central Oregon continue to struggle with homelessness and a shortage of affordable housing. In the Gorge and at the coast, we hear stories about teachers sleeping in vans. Up and down the I-5 corridor, we hear stories of double-digit rent increases.”

The Oregon Housing Alliance (OHA) is backing House Bill 4007, which would increase revenue for housing programs through hikes to real estate recording fees.

Fees are charged every time a property transaction is recorded in the state of Oregon.

Right now, those fees go to three programs: emergency rent assistance, homeownership and education programs, and a fund for affordable housing projects. HB4007 would raise the fee from its current high of $20 to as much as $75 per transaction. The hike would generate $41 million more a year for housing programs that the current fee.

“We know how to solve these problems, and increasing the document recording fee will provide needed resources to provide more housing opportunity to Oregonians in every corner of our state,” McIntosh said.

While a $50 increase in fees might not seem like much, it’s important to note that counties can also place additional recording fees on top of state fees. For example, Multnomah County charges $45 for the first page of a mortgage document and then $5 for each additional page.

In addition to hikes to document recording fees, HB 4007 would give a financial leg up to first-time homebuyers. Under the bill, residents could place money for the purchase of their first home into an individual account sheltered from state income taxes. Residents could squirrel away up to $5,000 each year for an individual and $10,000 for a couple, for up to 10 years.

Call to Action

The OHA, a network of housing advocates, government agencies, nonprofits, and service providers, is asking its members to write to the House Committee on Human Services and Housing, including Chair Alissa Keny-Guyer, Vice-Chair Andy Olson, Vice-Chair Tawna Sanchez, and Members of the Committee.

“We are hoping members and Oregonians will call their legislators, and urge them to act to solve our housing crisis,” McIntosh said. “We are hoping people will share their stories...and ultimately ask (legislators) to provide safety, stability, and hope to more of our neighbors.”

Residents at "Priced Out" community screenings often ask director Cornelius Swart what they can do to fight the downsides of gentrification. “Vote, call, and write your legislators,” says Swart. “You have to engage with the democratic process all year long. You constantly need to keep your lawmakers informed about what you want and accountable for what they promise.”

In 2015, the City of Portland declared a housing state of emergency as communities around Oregon saw some the nation's highest rent spikes. Since then, advocates have scrambled for additional money for housing priorities.

Over a year ago, Portland voters passed a historic $258.4 million housing bond to help address the situation. That year the legislature also authorized a controversial program that allows cities to meet affordable housing needs by building outside their respective urban growth boundaries.

The urban growth boundary policy, which restricts cities from sprawling into high-value forest and farmlands, has long come under criticism from builders who maintain that the restrictions unnecessarily increase the cost of housing.

Interview with Cornelius Swart on KGW

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Priced Out director Cornelius Swart was featured on KGW Newchannel 8's afternoon talk show Portland Today, on Wednesday, Jan. 3.

Swart discussed the film and upcoming free screenings on Jan. 5 and Jan. 24.

Friday, January 5
Priced Out with Q&A at Peace of the City Film Series
Portland Mennonite Church
1312 SE 35th Ave.
Portland, OR 97214
6:30 pm to 8:30 pm
Free, donations encouraged

Wednesday, January 24
Priced Out with Q&A at PCC Cascade Campus
Moriarty Arts and Humanities Building
705 N Killingsworth St.  
Portland, OR 97217
6 pm to 8 pm
Free