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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

St. Johns Parade and Bizarre this Saturday

May 7, 2010

Join Nick tomorrow morning for the 48th Annual St. Johns Parade and Bizarre. The Bizarre will open at ten and run until six pm, bookending the parade, which begins at noon and is one of the first official events of the Rose Festival.

"The Bizarre," reports the Portland Sentinel on April 29, "provides both the before- and after-party" to the parade, a North Portland tradition now in its 48th year. More than 70 local arts and crafts vendors will be on hand with handmade goods, including clothing, soaps, jewelry, and photos.

The Bizarre also showcases a number of bands on three stages, food offerings from around the area, and perennial favorite "Ye Olde Der Bier Garten."

Also on tap for the afternoon are martial arts demonstrations, bike rides, a hot rod show, and a dodgeball "throw-down."

Local businesses are also geared up to offer special Bizarre-day-only deals to shoppers, so be sure to check out what the St. Johns business community has to offer!

For details about the musical lineup, vendor offerings, and more, visit www.stjohnsbizarre.com.

Budget announcements

May 7, 2010

Today, Mayor Adams announced his proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year. I am pleased to report that despite major cuts across all bureaus, the Mayor continues his support for the "safety net" programs which serve our most vulnerable.

These programs include senior and youth programming in Parks, our SUN Community Schools, emergency shelter services, homeless youth services, and homeownership stabilization to help people stay in their homes.

Click here for more on the Mayor's proposed budget for the Portland Housing Bureau.

Click here for more on the Mayor's proposed budget for Portland Parks & Recreation.

Nick

"11 by 13" campaign moves forward

PHB's "11 by 13" campaign to preserve Portland's affordable housing supply secured another victory this month with the successful renewal of Upshur House as an affordable property.

May 11, 2010

Walnut Park was preserved late last year

The Portland Housing Bureau (PHB) works to make sure that every Portlander has a safe, decent, and affordable place to call home. Because market-rate rental properties are financially out of reach for many low-income Portlanders, apartment buildings offering below-market-rate, "affordable" units are a vital tool for PHB.

Many of these affordable apartment buildings are able to offer lower rental rates because they receive federal subsidies. Writes Justin Carinci in the Daily Journal of Commerce, "The early 1980s were a productive period for building affordable housing projects. Contracts with the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development provided Section 8 rent vouchers for 30 years on each project." When these contracts expire, many affordable buildings are converted to market-rate units. Protecting and preserving these affordable buildings is one of Nick's top priorities as Commissioner-in-Charge of PHB.

PHB has an ambitious plan to preserve affordable housing. Known as the "11 by 13" campaign, it's designed to preserve 11 properties with expiring federal rent subsidy contracts between now and 2013. PHB has developed a number of funding tools, including tax increment financing and a Section 108 loan pool, to support this effort, and is also working with Senators Merkley and Wyden for a change in law which will free up additional resources at the federal level.

With a number of successes on the books, PHB is on its way to achieving this goal. Late last year, PHB worked with REACH CDC to successfully preserve Walnut Park, a 38-unit property at NE 6th and MLK which will remain affordable for the next 20 years.

Also last year, reports Justin Carinci in the Daily Journal of Commerce, Northwest Housing Alternatives (NHA) bought Upshur House, which has provided 30 affordable units to Northwest Portland for the last 30 years. By renewing the federal contract which provides rent vouchers to keep Upshur House units affordable, NHA has ensured that this building will remain affordable for the next 20 years. 

PHB's preservation efforts rely on partnerships with a number of outstanding local non-profits, including Proud Ground, the REACH Community Development Corporation, Northwest Housing Alternatives, and Guardian Real Estate Services.

Check out PHB's website for more on this and other programs to make sure all Portlanders have a safe, decent, and affordable place to call home.

Summer Free for All online

May 11, 2010

Are you on Facebook? Do you follow Twitter? Now you can follow Portland Parks & Recreation and the Summer Free for All online! 

On Facebook, find us at facebook.com/portlandparks and facebook.com/portlandfreeforall

On Twitter, follow us at twitter.com/pdxparksandrec and twitter.com/summerfree4all

And if you use the Springwater Corridor, look for updates on closures and detours during the repaving this summer at twitter.com/springwaternews.

Council proclaims Older Americans Month

May 12, 2010

May 2010 is National Older Americans month. As the City Counci's Liaison to Elders in Action, Nick was proud to read an official proclamation declaring May 2010 Older Americans Month in the City of Portland.

Also on hand for the presentation this morning were Multnomah County Commissioner Judy Shiprack and Augusta Hayter, co-Chair of the Elders in Action Commission. Last week Nick visited the County Commission meeting for the reading of their sister proclamation.

Multnomah County is home to more than 100,000 people over the age of 60, and the City is working hard to support our older citizens in a number of ways.

The Portland Housing Bureau works to provide safe, affordable, accessible housing for our seniors and to address homeless, which affects older citizens at an alarming rate. Portland Parks & Recreation offers senior programming to promote mental and physical wellness and provides open spaces and natural areas to offer healthy outdoor recreation opportunities for seniors.

We are working hard to help maintain the dignity, independence, and self-determination of our older residents. We encourage Portlanders to recognize the many contributions of our older adults, and we encourage our older adults to continue sharing their wisdom and insight with our community!