Grant Money Will Help North and Northeast Portland Homeowners
The Minority Homeownership Assistance Collaborative (MHAC) received a $120,000 grant from the Portland Housing Bureau (PHB) to help North and Northeast Portland homeowners hold onto their homes if they are at-risk of losing them to foreclosure, daunting maintenance or legal issues.
As soon as the program is launched, MHAC, which is comprised of four community organizations, the African American Alliance for Homeownership, Hacienda CDC, Native American Youth and Family Center (NAYA), and the Portland Community Reinvestment Initiatives (PCRI), will help seniors as well as low and moderate-income homeowners by acting as a liaison between the homeowner and bank or government agencies, creating a plan of action for homeowners and helping them find the best resources to resolve their specific situation.
North and Northeast Portland neighborhoods have been hard hit by foreclosures, loss of home equity and displacement of minority communities in the past decade. Some community leaders have expressed concern that seniors and disadvantaged homeowners don’t have access to information on programs that could help their situation. MHAC hopes to remedy that by extending outreach to community groups, religious organizations, housing partners, senior centers and other local agencies.
Homeowners who need help can call PCRI at 503.288.2923 and ask for the Homeownership Retention staff.
Tall Grass and Weeds: Don’t Let it Happen in Your Neighborhood
Effective July 19, grass and weeds in excess of 10 inches high may subject property owners to a fine in violation of Title 29 of Portland City Code.
Despite a restrictive budget the Bureau of Development Services is launching a summer pilot program that allows Portland residents to file a complaint online about unruly weeds and grass in neighboring yards. Title 29 requires that owners of any property cut and remove weeds and grass “that are located in lawn areas and have a prevailing height of more than 10 inches.”
Last year, budget cuts forced BDS to respond to only the most critical cases of disorderly fauna, and to do so with limited resources. But Paul Scarlett, BDS Director says that he “understands outdoor maintenance regulations as they relate to increased vandalism, graffiti, and other conditions that can lead to neighborhood deterioration.”
Residents can file a complaint along with a digital photograph of offending weeds and grass at http://www.portlandonline.com/bds/gwcomplaints.
Safe Passage for Fish at Crystal Springs Creek
Work has begun on the removal of barriers that inhibit safe fish passage at Crystal Springs Creek. The Crystal Springs Southeast 28th Avenue Restoration and Culvert Replacement Project is the first of several fish barrier removal projects planned at the creek in Southeast Portland.
Coho, Chinook salmon, and steelhead trout live in the creek and the passage improvements will greatly benefit their chances for survival. All three are listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.
The Bureau of Environmental Services is working in tandem with Reed College, which owns the property east of Southeast 28th. Reed College will make additional improvements such as restoring the creek channel, adding a sidewalk on Southeast 28th and a stormwater runoff management system.