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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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USICH announces first national strategy to prevent and end homelessness

Next Tuesday, June 22, the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness will introduce "Opening Doors: The Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness"

June 18, 2010

Next Tuesday, June 22, the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) will introduce "Opening Doors: The Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness."

"Opening Doors" will serve as a roadmap for joint action by USICH agencies - Housing and Urban Development, Labor, the Veterans Administration, and others.

Since January, USICH has worked with a wide variety of partners around the country to develop this plan to address the plight of 640,000 men, women, and children without housing each night.

The announcement will be broadcast live June 22 at 9:00 am eastern time. If you want to wake up with this exciting event, watch at www.whitehouse.gov/live.

Text of "Opening Doors" will be available on the USICH and HUD websites.

"Mortgage fraud: Securing the American dream"

Nick co-authored this guest op-ed, which ran in the June 19 Oregonian, with Dwight Holton, US Attorney for the District of Oregon

June 21, 2010

We hope you saw "Mortgage fraud: Securing the American dream," a guest op-ed Nick co-authored with US Attorney for the District of Oregon Dwight Holton, in Saturday's Oregonian.

"Home ownership is at the heart of the American dream," they write. "Mortgage fraud has stolen that dream from many Oregonians and made it harder to sustain for many more."

Last week, Nick joined Holton, representatives from the FBI, IRS, HUD, and several state organizations to announce recent victories in "Operation Stolen Dreams," the national fight against mortgage fraud. Here in Portland, the Portland Housing Bureau (PHB) is working hard to prevent foreclosures. Last year, PHB invested more than $1 million in proven foreclosure prevention programsin the Portland area.

Tonight: Gateway Neighborhood Park Kick-off and Open House

Tonight, tour the site of the future Gateway Neighborhood Park, meet project staff, and share your ideas for development of the site

June 22, 2010

Last December, the Portland Development Commission partnered with the Parks bureau to purchase three lots at 106th and Halsey in Northeast Portland. The future Gateway Neighborhood Park property, totaling 4.2 acres, will become a 3-acre park with one acre of complementary redevelopment in the Gateway neighborhood.

Tonight, from 6 - 8 pm, Parks and PDC will host on official Kick-off and Open House at the project site. This is a great chance to tour the site, get to know project staff, review consultant analysis to date, share your ideas, and enjoy refreshments and ice cream with the project team.

Increasing equity in access to our Parks system is one of Nick's top priorities as Parks Commissioner. Gateway has long been one of Portland's most park-deficient areas, and Parks staff have been working since 2001 to acquire property in the area. Once completed, this park will serve three neighborhoods - Hazelwood, Mill Park, and Parkrose. The project site is also located on the NE Halsey "Main Street" corridor, and will be an important step in increasing the area's economic vitality.

Planning for the site is a collaborative effort from Parks and PDC staff, consultant firm Mayer/Reed, and an advisory committee made up of community volunteers representing a range of perspectives. The Committee includes representatives from the Gateway business community, neighborhood associations, residents, youth, park advocates, and East Portland community activists, each with unique ideas. The Committee is charged with developing a balanced community-wide vision position incorporating the varied ideas of each member. The Committee will have a total of five meetings, all open to the public, this year. Click here for more on the Committee and for information about the next meeting.

Foreclosures disproportionately affect minority homeowners, new study finds

A recently-released Center for Responsible Lending study reports that minority homeowners are almost twice as likely to experience foreclosure

 June 22, 2010

A recently released Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) study reports that an estimated 17% of Latino homeowners and 11% of African-American homeowners are at risk of losing their homes or have been foreclosed on already. The report predicts continued increases in foreclosure rates and home value decline.

An estimated 2.5 million homeowners experienced foreclosure between 2007 and 2009, the authors write, and another 5.7 million are on the way.

Their research also found that African-American and Latino homeowners were almost twice as likely to have lost their home as White homeowners.

In the past year, the Portland Housing Bureau (PHB) has invested nearly $1 million in proven foreclosure prevention strategies, working with local non-profit partners to help the most vulnerable homeowners in our community stay in their homes.

PHB also supports "Operation Stolen Dreams," the nationwide effort to combat mortgage fraud. Last week, Nick spoke at a press conference announcing recent victories in the fight against mortgage fraud here in Oregon.

Click here for an executive summary of their study, or here for the full report.

Healthy Portland Initiative tackles important community health issues

Commissioner Fish's Healthy Portland Initiative takes on hunger in the Portland area in a variety of ways

June 22, 2010

Story by Caitlin Burke and Sonia Schmanski 

The State of Oregon is consistently ranked in the top five nationally for hunger. More than 240,000 people ate meals from emergency food boxes each month during the 2008-09 fiscal year, a 20 percent increase from the previous year.

To respond to this important community health issue, Commissioner Fish has created the Healthy Portland Initiative. The Healthy Portland Initiative builds on existing services provided by Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) by finding new and innovative ways to ensure that more Portlanders have the opportunity to eat healthy foods each day.

In "City Program Turns Attention to Food," a Lund Report story from June 16, author Jennifer Willis quotes Nick: "Communities who have easy access to healthy food and opportunities to exercise are healthier communities - our parks system is at the heart of this movement."

Willis also spoke with Policy Coordinator Emily Hicks about Parks' Community Gardens Initiative. "When Fish found himself in charge of the Portland Housing Bureau and Portland Parks and Recreation," she writes, "his office discovered a wait list of over a thousand people for participation in community gardens...His team worked to bring together community leaders, public agencies and local businesses to come up with creative solutions to offer more opportunities for Portlanders to grow food." This process will help Parks reach its goal of adding 1,000 new community gardens plots by the end of 2012.

To fulfill the initiative’s mission, Parks is partnering with local community organizations to implement several exciting other new projects, which include:

  • A new federally-funded pilot project at St. Johns Community Center that provides free and healthy meals to kids enrolled in after-school programs
  • Expansion of the summer playground program, which increases the number of sites students can go to for free and healthy lunches
  • Healthier snack options in all of Parks' community centers beginning this week

Commissioner Fish will continue to champion the Healthy Portland Initiative, encouraging the City to work with community partners to increase the number of Portlander who have access to healthy foods every day.

To learn more about hunger in Portland, visit the Oregon Food Bank’s fact page. For more on the Healthy Portland Initiative, call us up at (503) 823-3589.