Homeowner regrets letting campers live in backyard


PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A woman who let a homeless couple onto her property 2 months ago told KOIN 6 News she’s having trouble getting them to leave.

Flor Hilliard’s neighbors said they’re fed up with the excessive noise and garbage coming from the backyard camp near SE Powell Boulevard and SE 40th Avenue.

Now some are even questioning if what they’re doing is legal.

“I just give them a place to stay,” Hilliard said about the couple living on her property. “I told them, you are very lucky. You have a good place in here.”

The couple has made the space their own: A tent, table, outdoor microwave oven and water supplied by the homeowner are just some of the things they have.

But Bureau of Development Services Enforcement Program Manager Mike Liefeld said it’s illegal for Hilliard to let anyone camp out on her Portland property.

“It is prohibited by the city’s property maintenance regulations,” he explained.

Liefeld said livability standards and concerns for both campers and neighbors are reasons the regulations were put in place. Noise complaints, health and sanitation concerns are just some of the problems often associated with illegal campsites.

Some neighbors said they’re fed up with the campers and that they’d love to see them gone. Even Hilliard admits she isn’t thrilled with their behavior. She said they’ve worn out their welcome, but she’s having difficulty getting them to leave.

“I don’t know what to do,” Hilliard said.

Neighbors have complained about the couple’s drug use and noisy behavior. Hilliard said she sees them drinking beer every time she looks out her window.

She said she’ll keep trying her best to get them off her property.

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