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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

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Local, national groups partner to combat mortgage fraud

The Portland Housing Bureau works hard to help homeowners stay in their homes

June 17, 2010

In a press conference this morning, US Attorney for the District of Oregon Dwight Holton announced a wave of new charges and convictions in Oregon, part of "Operation Stolen Dreams," a nationwide effort to investigate and prosecute mortgage fraud. Since March of this year, 39 individuals have been charged in 32 cases here in Oregon.

Nick also spoke at the press conference, which was attended by representatives of the FBI, IRS, US Department of Housing and Urban Development, Oregon Department of Justice, and Oregon State Division of Finance and Corporate Securities.

Locally, foreclosures increased by more than 150% this past year. At the same time, housing prices have declined by almost 5%. As unemployment remains high and foreclosure rates rise, mortgage fraud cases have increased as well. Between 2006 and 2008, the FBI saw mortgage fraud cases increase by more than 350%.

Communities of color are particularly at risk for foreclosure due to historic lack of access to mainstream banking and credit services and the high-cost loans they often hold. As Commissioner-in-Charge of the Portland Housing Bureau (PHB), Nick's top priorities are closing the minority homeownership gap and helping Portlanders remain in their homes.

Over the past year, PHB has invested more than $1 million in foreclosure prevention programs run by local non-profits. By working with culturally-specific groups like Hacienda CDC, the African American Alliance for Homeownership, and the Community Housing Resource Center, PHB is reaching the most vulnerable homeowners in our region. PHB also offers homeownership education and counseling, proven tools for preventing foreclosure.

Together with our partners at the local, state, and national level, we will continue to help Portlanders achieve their American Dream.

Bottom: Dwight Holton, US Attorney for the District of Oregon

Celebrating two affordable housing openings

Portland welcomed two new affordable housing projects this week - Martha Washington, in downtown, and Walnut Park, on the east side

June 17, 2010

The need for safe, decent, and affordable housing in Portland is great - approximately 2,000 people here have no permanent place to call home. To address this, the Portland Housing Bureau (PHB) regularly partners with local government agencies and community partners to increase the affordable housing supply in Portland. This week, Nick joined community partners to celebrate the openings ofWalnut Park and the Martha Washington, Portland's newest affordable housing projects.

With OHCS Director Victor Merced, Harriet Cormack of the Housing Authority of Portland, and Multnomah County Chair Jeff Cogen at the Martha Washington opening in downtown Portland With Michelle Haynes, Development Director at Reach CDC, at the opening of Walnut Park in Northeast Portland

Local partners work hard to combat rising mortgage fraud in Oregon

PHB is working with local, regional, and national partners to combat increased mortgage fraud

June 18, 2010

"Local officials from the U.S. attorney's office and other federal and state agencies gathered Thursday in Portland to proclaim that their war against mortgage fraud continues," writes Jeff Manningin this morning's Oregonian. "Since March, 39 individuals have been charged, pled guilty or have been sentenced in 32 different cases in the metro area."

At yesterday's press conference, Nick joined US Attorney for the District of Oregon Dwight Holton and other partners from "Operation Stolen Dreams," a nationwide effort to crack down on mortgage fraud and help keep people in their homes, to announce recent successes.

In the past year, the Portland Housing Bureau has invested over $1 million in proven foreclosure prevention strategies. Visit the PHB website for more on what we're doing.