PORTLAND – Thousands of complaints are filed every year for houses in disrepair, some of which have been taken over by squatters.
KGW Unit 8 investigated the complaints to see what the city is doing about the issues.
At one home on North Kilpatrick Street, neighbors say transients have taken over, dumping trash in the backyard and attracting rats.
Thursday, the city boarded up the North Kilpatrick Street home.
Neighbor Rick Marsubian said that neighbors complained for months before the city dealt with the home.
“The police have come and gone numerous times. There have been all kinds of complaints,” Marsubian said. “People coming in doing their business, doing whatever they’re doing, coming back out – it was just a circus.”
The city said it tried to get the homeowner to clean up the issues, but he wouldn’t work with officials.
After a lengthy process of inspections, notices and hearings, the city deemed the home an extremely distressed property, kicked everyone out and boarded it up.
The city is having difficulty dealing with vacant or abandoned homes. Right now, there are around 7,500 vacant housing units in Portland.
This week, firefighters even had to put out two fires at vacant homes.
On North Kilpatrick Street, neighbors say they hope the boards now covering the distressed home’s doors and windows are a sign of better times ahead.
“Everybody’s real happy that it’s being boarded up,” said neighbor Michael Morrill.
But the future of the home is uncertain. The bank could take possession of it, or the owner could clean and repair it.
If he doesn’t, and the problems persist, the city said the last resort would be to demolish it.
KGW Reporter Mark Hanrahan contributed to this report