The Southwest Corridor Plan envisions a livable, affordable, economically thriving community with reliable and safe transportation options for every resident and commuter. With this vision in mind, the Southwest Corridor Equitable Development Strategy strives to ensure that individuals and families continue to live, work and thrive in the Southwest Corridor as we invest in such a major transportation project like light rail. This means making sure Southwest Corridor neighborhoods have:
- different choices for where to live for people of all incomes
- a range of jobs for people of all backgrounds
- learning opportunities that prepare people for those jobs
- wages that support people’s desire to live and work in the corridor.
Thanks to a federal grant, Metro is exploring how a proposed light rail and other investments can improve the Southwest Corridor’s economy and quality of life for people of all incomes. The study will help find new approaches for making important decisions about how we use and develop our land, and how to create financial incentives that will encourage equitable development with convenient transit access. The equitable development strategy will address:
- Equitable housing Identify tools to increase supply and meet demand for diverse places to live to fit the needs of individuals and families of all incomes and sizes.
- Economic development Identify and encourage jobs that provide individuals and families with sufficient wages that allow them to live within the corridor.
- Workforce development Identify ways to prepare current and future corridor residents for existing and emerging industries.
- Guidance on property investment Identify where it makes sense to keep existing developments, adapt or redevelop areas, or invest in new development.
The guiding body for this work is the SWEDS Project Oversight Committee. The committee is made up of Southwest Corridor project partners, social justice and affordable housing advocacy organizations, local community and neighborhood groups, and business and workforce development experts.
In addition, Metro recently awarded equitable housing grants to the City of Portland, the City of Tigard and Washington County to help address local affordable housing issues as they relate to the proposed light rail investment. The Equitable Development Strategy will support and be informed by these local efforts. Staff from the City of Portland, the City of Tigard, Washington County and Metro are coordinating between the grants to maximize efficiency and promote a shared understanding of needs within the corridor.