Complaints about the new buildings in Portland are misplaced. Gentrification won't be stopped without new buildings & some of them will be large. Get over it.
Another factor that exacerbates gentrification is the Portland metro area's urban-growth boundary, which prevents suburban encroachment on farmland and so drives up the value of urban real estate. Ironically, this invention is an example of the progressive urban planning that contributed to Portland's groovy "green" reputation in the first place and helped make it a draw for new residents. Moving the boundary out and eating up green space to manufacture lower property values, however, would be a step in the wrong direction. Portland is not Reno and that should stay that way.
On the legal front, the city of Portland is not allowed to restrict rising rents due to a state-level prohibition on rent-control. Landlords can jack up rates as high as the market will bear, which, due to the above factors, is turning out to be very high. [...]
All this adds up to a bona fide housing crisis, which even the business-friendly mayor has been forced to admit (especially since an election is looming). [...]