Imagining Home Film

Hare in the Gate Productions presents Imagining Home, a film documenting the demolition of Columbia Villa, the development of New Columbia.

Thirteen-year-old Charles Iverson and his family cling to a Cyclone fence, as they watch their cherished home demolished—their neighborhood now reduced to memory. Along with nearly 400 other low-income families of Portland, Oregon’s Columbia Villa public housing project, they are displaced to make way for a mixed-income development often termed a social experiment. In contrast to the “Villa”—site of Portland’s first gang-related death—New Columbia’s design and programs promise a better way of life for residents like Charles, struggling to break the cycle of poverty. But even as new homes, parks, and social services are completed, tensions re-emerge. Public housing residents fear gentrification; new homeowners confront long-held stereotypes of race and class. Can former Columbia Villa residents return to help build an integrated community, while fighting the stigma of poverty? Through their experiences, Imagining Home defines the soul of a neighborhood through stories of dignity, resilience, and courage.

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