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The goal of Cityscape is to bring high-quality original research on housing and community development issues to scholars, government officials, and practitioners. Cityscape is open to all relevant disciplines, including architecture, consumer research, demography, economics, engineering, ethnography, finance, geography, law, planning, political science, public policy, regional science, sociology, statistics, and urban studies.

Cityscape is published three times a year by the Office of Policy Development and Research (PD&R) of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

  • Measuring Blight
  • Volume 24 Number 2
  • Managing Editor: Mark D. Shroder
  • Associate Editor: Michelle P. Matuga

Vacancy Change in Vulnerable Census Tracts in Portland, Oregon

Kirsten Ray
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Portland Field Office

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not represent the official positions or policies of the Office of Policy Development and Research, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, or the U.S. Government.

This article examines areas of suspected blight in Portland, Oregon, by analyzing the increase of vacant addresses in vulnerable census tracts between 2015 and 2019 using U.S. Postal Service (USPS) data on vacant residential or no-stat addresses that are reported to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). From 2015 to 2019, 15.8 percent of vulnerable census tracts experienced suspected blight in the City of Portland, representing 11.4 percent of the total population of Portland. Trends from 2020 to 2021 indicate a general decline of vacancies reported by USPS, suggesting fewer instances of blight in Portland. Further analysis of 2020 to 2021 data and vulnerable census tracts is needed, pending the release of American Community Survey (ACS) data.

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