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The City of Portland, Oregon

Nick Fish (In Memoriam)

City of Portland Commissioner

phone: 503-823-3589

Email: nick@portlandoregon.gov

1221 S.W. 4th, Room 240, Portland, OR 97204

Oregon will receive $88 million in federal aid to prevent foreclosure

March 30, 2010

"The good news and bad news are one and the same," writes Eric Mortenson in the March 30 Oregonian. "Oregon is one of five states that will share in a $600 million federal program aimed at helping regions hardest hit by unemployment, home foreclosures and upside-down mortgages." Other states which will benefit from this federal money are California, Florida, Rhode Island, and Nevada.

During this recession, Oregon has been in the top five nationally for homelessness, hunger, and unemployment, and in the top ten for foreclosures. Read the full article here.

Portland Housing Bureau budget update

March 30, 2010

This Monday, March 30, the Portland Housing Bureau (PHB) presented its requested budget to the City Council. This is the first budget proposal for the new bureau.

Our proposed budget will enable us to provide and invest in housing across the continuum, including shelters and transitional housing for the homeless; rental housing for the working poor, disabled, and upwardly mobile; and homeownership opportunities. In addition, home retention and foreclosure prevention have taken on special significance in the current economy and in this year's proposed budget.

The next major step is the release of the Mayor’s proposed budget, on April 30. That will be the first indication of whether PHB’s requested decision packages will be included in the City budget. To view the budget submission in its entirety, click here.

In May, the Mayor’s proposed budget will be presented at a public hearing for comment before being considered by the full Council in a vote on the budget in late May.

Today is Census day!

April 1, 2010

Today is Census day!

Only 51% of Multnomah County residents have returned their Census form so far, and this year, returning your form is more important than ever before. Here’s why:

- The Census count will determine our fair share of over $400 billion of federal and state funding each year.

- For every 100 people not counted, Multnomah County will lose $120,000 each year – $1,200 per person.

- Oregon may gain a sixth seat in Congress. 

-Census data helps our community decide where to build or locate new schools, roads, health centers, services for the elderly, job training centers, and more.

Together with County Commissioner Deborah Kafoury, I co-Chair the Complete Count Committee. We are working with community partners to reach out to traditionally hard to count communities in Multnomah County and ensure the most accurate count possible.

Remember – you count!

Thanks very much to Andrew McIlrath, Partnership Specialist with the US Census Bureau, for the photo!

Nick responds to camping proposal criticisms with guest op-ed in the Business Journal

April 2, 2010

Nick contributed a guest opinion piece, "Compassionate homeless camping plan will spur new ideas," to today's Business Journal. His piece responds to an editorial the paper ran recently, "Homeless plan ignores problem," criticizing Nick's proposed guidelines to regulate camping on our streets.

"The good news is that we are making progress," Nick writes, noting that Portland's 10-Year Plan to End Homelessness is nationally recognized, that in five years we've moved 7,000 people from the streets into homes, and that the Portland Housing Bureau invests the City's money in proven solutions like permanent housing and the Resource Access Center.

Still, over 1,600 people slept outside last night. We can't provide shelter for everyone who needs it, and camping is a crime. His piece outlines the proposal and acknowledges that while we know camping is not the answer, the guidelines can "provide safety and accountability to homeless folks without other options."

Andy Giegerich's March 19 Business Journal story, "Homeless plan sparks heated debate," captures community feedback on the proposal. "While they don't think it's perfect," he writes, many Portland social service providers support the proposal. He remarks that Transition Projects, Inc., in Old Town, has an 11-week waiting list for its women's and men's shelters. 

What do you think? Share your ideas with us at nick@portlandoregon.gov.

For links to these articles and more, video, and other documents, see our 'Camping' tab.

East Portland news roundup

April 5, 2010

Three stories in the April issue of East Portland Neighborhood Association News caught our eye:

- In "Powellhurst-Gilbert Gets Wild," Mark White highlights a recent volunteer event along the Springwater Corridor. The wildflower planting event, part of a P-G Neighborhood Association restoration project, drew nearly 40 people to the site, adjacent to the Springwater Corridor between SE 128th and 136th.

- "Sunday Parkways comes to East Portland!," also by Mark White, announces the addition of a Sunday Parkways event to East Portland. The Parkways event will take place on July 18, the day after the East Portland Exposition opens at Ed Benedict Park.

- Annual SOLV IT day is this Saturday, April 17. In East Portland, writes Linda Robinson, volunteers will work at the Gateway Green site. Register with SOLV online, at www.solv.org.