PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — On Friday, Portland Mayor Charlie Hales led a tour of 5 zombie homes in Southeast Portland. All were in the Lents neighborhood but according to the Mayor’s office, there are 430 vacant, abandoned or distressed homes across the city.
Hales has been trying for several weeks to reform the city’s policy on abandoned homes. He says the goal is to increase livability and the housing supply.
“These properties attract rodents, squatters, drugs, and a host of nuisances to neighborhoods,” Mayor Hales said in a statement. “Neighbors are fed up — and rightfully so. I’m looking forward to strong partnerships across City bureaus and community partners to dust off old tools, like foreclosure, and use innovative new ideas to clean up our neighborhoods.”
The City Council will discuss 5 zombie homes during its session Wednesday.
Hales’ office is working with the auditor, treasurer and city attorney to get zombie homes back on the active market.
“Essentially, there’s a collections committee involved. They vet the houses through that body and they look for houses that are ripe for foreclosure that would go to the City Council, at which point they will vote on it, and that’s what’s going to happen next week for the first time,” said Chad Stover, the mayor’s Livability Project Manager.