PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Charles Adams sits in his wheelchair as he talks about how his Northeast Portland neighborhood is a prime target for developers.
His neighbors are selling out and there is new construction going on right next door. Adams said his insurance company has threatened to cancel his homeowners coverage unless costly repairs are made — even though, he said, he can’t afford them.
“I ain’t interested in selling my house,” Adams told KOIN 6 News. “I have to live somewhere and I love living on 15th Avenue” where he’s lived for 34 years.
“I don’t know what my neighbors are thinking,” he said. “But I’ll sit right here between skyscrapers. Don’t make me no different. I’ll be just like the little brother living in New York City.”
His garage needs fixing and the city Housing Bureau’s North and Northeast Neighborhood Planning Strategy will help make it happen.
Barrett Karnes with Reach Community Builders is helping 12 homeowners — including Charles Adams — with up to $9500 worth of work on their homes. The money is part of a $20 million initiative approved by the Portland City Council that includes $800,000 in grants to help people like Adams.
Another $3.2 million will go to loans to help people stay in their homes, and $5 million to help new home buyers in the area, plus $8 million to create and redevelop permanently affordable rental homes.
“With a lot of our homeowners, they’ve been in their homes for over 25 years,” Karnes said. “It’s a gathering place for friends and families in the neighborhood.”
Karnes said Adams, 69, will get a wheelchair ramp, siding and a new walk-in shower. All those fixers are repairs that will help Adams stay safely in his home and maintain his insurance.
The Reach Community Builders also said they make a point of trying to work with minority contractors as much as possible.
“When I’m gone,” Adams said, “I hope one of my sons will appreciate this house enough to improve it and stay in it.”
You can read more about this in the Portland Tribune