PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The Portland City Council voted Wednesday to foreclose on five blighted properties with delinquent unpaid liens in order to recoup $608,537.92 and improve community safety.

In the agenda packet the City of Portland stated that the properties have caused “significant problems” for local neighborhoods. The properties also create unhealthy living conditions and attract crime, the city said.

“These properties have presented major problems for the neighbors and neighborhoods in the community,” the City of Portland stated. “Problems include criminal behavior, unlawful occupants, and unsafe and unhealthy conditions. Foreclosure is being employed as one of the tools available to the city to resolve blight and put properties back into productive use.”

The city initially planned to foreclose on nine Portland properties. However, after considering issues like the number of past abatements, delinquencies, and the overall negative effect the properties have on their local neighborhoods, the list was cut down to five.

Councilman Dan Ryan said that neighbors have been waiting for the city council to take action against the blighted properties and said that results from the foreclosures may be seen six to eight months after the properties are sold.

“I was particularly attached to the property on Killingsworth because constituents have been complaining about it for some time,” Ryan said. “I think they’ve been fairly persistent and patient. I know a couple of people have actually moved out of the area over what they say would be the challenges of living near that house.”

Responding to complaints from community members about the time it took for the city council to take action against the property owners, Mayor Wheeler said that the city has to abide by laws that make the foreclosure process slow and difficult. However, he added that the city should break up future foreclosures into separate ordinances to potentially speed up the process.

“It is designed to be hard for the city to take people’s private property,” Wheeler said. “That is part of the intentionality that goes into this process. It gives people every opportunity to correct the situation, every opportunity to make payments on past-due obligations, every opportunity to work with their neighbors. But at the end of the day, if you get onto this list, it is because there is no hope whatsoever of moving forward.”

The foreclosed properties include:

  • 9124 NE Prescott St., owned by Gerald and Vicki Decker
  • 111 NE Killingsworth St., owned by Killingsworth Rodney LLC
  • 6417 SE 84th Ave., owned by Michaele Jarvis
  • 6402 SE 103rd Ave., owned by 103rd Multiplex LLC
  • 2826 SE 87th Ave., owned by Kelly Freed