PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A resolution may be in sight following 3 days of protest outside the Red House on North Mississippi Avenue in Portland.
Though protesters are still blocking the street over the eviction of the Kinney family from that house in the Humboldt neighborhood, the family said they are now in negotiations with Mayor Ted Wheeler.
In a statement sent to KOIN 6 News, the Kinney family said:
“Faced with growing pressure and international attention, the Mayor’s office contacted the Kinney family late afternoon Wednesday to request a meeting. The initial conversation resulted in promises to ‘keep it Kinney’ by ensuring the property stays in the Kinney family.”
KOIN 6 News then reached out to Wheeler’s office. In a statment, the mayor’s office said:
“The City of Portland is actively working across bureaus and with partners to resolve the situation on Mississippi Avenue. We continue to actively monitor the situation and will provide updates as appropriate.”
By Thursday afternoon, Wheeler said city officials were “actively working across bureaus and with partners to resolve the situation on Mississippi Avenue,” but did not elaborate further.
One of the people at the blockade told KOIN 6 News people are upset about Wheeler’s tweets on Tuesday about authorizing police to use “all lawful means” to end the occupation.
“Ted Wheeler should have not made that statement that the police are coming. That’s an act of aggression, and a threat,” said Linneas Bolande-Godbey. “We are all here to support the Kinney family because they are unfairly getting evicted and they’ve been doing that to a lot of people, including families of color.
People can be seen sitting on top of a garage, apparently keeping watch over the entrances to the blocked-off neighborhood. Portland police expressed concern that emergency vehicles wouldn’t be able to get in if they were needed.
Some background on the Red House
KOIN 6 News learned more about the legal proceedings the Black and Indigenous family has used to try to block the eviction.
Two years ago the Kinney family filed a federal lawsuit trying to block the eviction of their home on the 4400 block of North Mississippi Avenue.
The court documents show the family’s current housing trouble started at the end of 2016 and the beginning of 2017 when their loan was transferred to another company.
The lawsuit says the loan transferred several more times, and the family argued they were confused to whom they would make payments.
The judge wrote documents to the Kinneys to “clearly explain the transition between loan servicers and the date payment was to be made to each servicer.”
Court records say the family missed 17 months of payments and were warned their house would be foreclosed.
Dispatcher data from the past three months shows police have had more than 80 calls about the alleged trespassers, including gunfire, burglary, thefts, vandalism, threats and other disturbances.