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The 10 worst Portland neighborhoods to live in

Portland, Oregon (Photo: Travel + Leisure)

We’re here to help you know more about neighborhoods in Portland, Oregon. We share easy-to-understand info to help you decide where to live. Our goal is to give you the details you need, so you can pick a place that’s right for you.

10 worst neighborhood in Portland, Oregon (Photo: Travel + Leisure)

How we found out which neighborhoods in Portland might not be the best

To figure out which neighborhoods in Portland might be tough to live in, we looked at five things. One big factor was being close to freeways. That usually means more homeless people and more crime. So, here’s what we checked:

1. High Unemployment – a lot of people not having jobs.

2. Low Median Income – not much money in the area.

3. Low Density – not many things to do around there.

4. Low Home Prices – houses being sold for way less than they seem worth.

5. Crime Rate –We looked at numbers and what we’ve seen ourselves to understand what’s going on. We tried to be fair by focusing on facts and figures, but we also wanted to share the real-life feeling of being in those neighborhoods, what it’s like when you’re actually there.

By checking all these things, we got a good idea of which neighborhoods in Portland might be facing more challenges.

10 worst neighborhoods in Portland

1. Centennial

The number one on our list is Centennial, and it’s been seen as the toughest neighborhood in Portland for a few years in a row. It’s not getting much better, though. Centennial is a bit northeast of Powellhurst, and even though they’re trying to make things better, it’s still a tricky place to live. The problems there are not only sticking around but also spreading more towards the east. In the whole ‘East of 205’ area, Centennial is like the main spot with the most issues.

2. Powellhurst

At the bottom of our list is Powellhurst, close to the 205 Freeway. It’s north of Happy Valley, which is a much better neighborhood. Powellhurst has a tough situation because it’s near the 205 Freeway and Route 76 junction, where there are lots of homeless camps. This makes living there not so great, especially when compared to the nearby Happy Valley, which is a better place to call home.

3. Old Town/Chinatown

Old Town is kind of like two sides of a coin. In the daytime, you can find good restaurants and fun places, but at night, it’s a different story. It’s not the worst, but it’s also not the best. So, it’s a bit of a mixed neighborhood, with good stuff during the day and some challenges at night.

4. Mill Park

Mill Park has a tough time because it’s close to both the I-84 and I-205 freeways – that’s two instead of just one. Like we mentioned before, being near freeways is a big issue in this list. Mill Park deals with the same problems of lots of homeless people around overpasses and bus stations, making the already high crime rates even worse. Living there is extra hard because it’s sandwiched between two major freeways.

5. Sunderland

Sunderland is up north near the airport and close to an industrial area, especially around Columbia Blvd. It’s got some good things like easy access to main roads and the airport, plus two great golf courses. But, on the downside, it also deals with some tough stuff, making the situation not so great overall.

6. Lloyd District

Lloyd District is close to downtown Portland, next to the Broadway bridge. It’s more of an industrial area, not doing as well as the neighborhoods around it, like Irvington and Alameda. Even though it’s in the middle of some of the best places in Portland, driving through Lloyd District can feel a bit gloomy. It’s not keeping up with the good vibes of its neighbors.

7. St. Johns

St. Johns is a bit like Kenton, which we said was a great place to live before. But, St. Johns has a double life. Ten years ago, it wasn’t a good spot at all. Nowadays, it’s cool with lots of stores, food, and fun. The St. Johns Bridge is famous, going over the pretty St. Johns Park. The downtown area is getting better too. The tricky part is that the edges of St. Johns are still a bit rough. But, if more people, especially professionals, move in and bring businesses and homes, it might get even better and not be on this list anymore.

8. Parkrose

Parkrose is number 8 on our list of not-so-great places in Portland. It’s right where two big roads, 205 and 84, meet. This mix of busy roads has led to a lot of homeless people and more crime. To give you an idea, we found a really nice house in Parkrose, but when we drove around, it felt a bit sketchy. It was kind of scary, and the clients didn’t even want to go inside the house. So, if a client doesn’t like this area, we’d rather start from 205 and go west to find a better fit.

9. Bridgeton

Most places on this list share one thing: they’re close to highways and have lots of people without homes. Bridgeton is near I-5, and some folks think about living here to avoid traffic. But we want to give a heads up – an easier commute might mean cheaper housing, but it could come with challenges. Bridgeton is part of an industrial area in North Portland, near Columbia Blvd, which isn’t known for being the safest place. So, while it might seem tempting for a quicker drive, it’s important to think about the other stuff that comes with it.

10. Kenton

Kenton is on both lists because it’s changing a lot. A few years ago, it wasn’t a great place, but now it’s getting better. You can find good deals on homes, and more businesses are doing well there. Young and lively people are moving in, making Kenton cleaner and nicer. The main part of Kenton is improving, but the edges might still feel a bit iffy, even though they’re much better than before. So, Kenton is a neighborhood that’s still working on getting even better.

 

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