The BDS Enforcement Program addresses Zoning, Noise, Work without Permit, Dangerous Buildings, Signs & A-Boards, Nuisances, Housing, Derelict Buildings, Exterior Maintenance Requirements on non-Residential Structures and Chapter 13 Systematic Inspection violations or non-compliant issues.
In FY 2010-11 the program received over 8,097 complaints and was able to respond and investigate 75% of the complaints received. Unfortunately, due to inspection staff reductions in 2009, 2,040 lower priority complaints were not investigated based on service level reductions (See Service Level Update Document: Enforcement / Complaint Operational Changes and Priorities).
Beginning in July 2011, the enforcement program was able to implement a service level improvement due to City Council support for continuation/restoration of five Housing Inspector positions. This has allowed BDS to respond to all housing maintenance complaints (rental and owner occupied) and to effectively work with responsible parties to bring properties into compliance with minimum housing standards to improve habitability and livability in Portland’s neighborhoods.
Additionally, in the 2011 Fall budget adjustment process, City Council dedicated additional inspection resources to focus on chronically derelict/vacant properties that are often a result of the home lending crisis and spike in foreclosures. Without continued maintenance, vacant/foreclosed homes can be an attractive nuisance for squatters, criminal activity, and generally have a negative impact on surrounding property values.
While the program is not yet able to respond to all complaints, it does continue to achieve a 90% voluntary compliance rate on cited violations. In addition, the program has created the tall grass and weed pilot project allowing the public to partner with BDS enforcement staff to cite tall grass and weed violations, thus allowing BDS inspectors to continue to focus on higher priority cases. You can access the tall grass and weed pilot project here and submit all other complaints online or by calling (503) 823-CODE.