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The City of Portland, Oregon

Nick Fish (In Memoriam)

City of Portland Commissioner

phone: 503-823-3589


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

Share your thoughts with the Portland Housing Bureau

December 1, 2009

Multnomah County is home to over 100,000 seniors, more than ever before, and our community offers very limited housing choices to our elderly. The Portland Housing wants your feedback about barriers facing seniors seeking housing in our community.

Commissioner Fish will join representatives from the Portland Housing Bureau and the Housing and Community Development Commission Tuesday from 1 to 3 pm at the Mittleman Jewish Community Center to hear your input.

They are particularly interested in your thoughts about the unique housing and service needs of the aging population, the needs of subgroups within the older community, and how the City can best serve our older residents.

Please join the Commissioner for this important meeting, which will affect the way federal dollars will be spent on housing for Multnomah County's aging population.

Thanks to flickr user La Doble A Producers for the photo.

Housing Bureau receives $4 million for lead abatement programs

December 2, 2009

Today in Council, the Portland Housing Bureau (PHB) announced the awarding of a $4 million grant from the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for lead hazard control programs in the Portland area. Since 1998, the City's Housing Bureau has received grants totaling $13 million for these programs.

Many homes in the Portland area were built before 1978 contain lead-based paint. When disturbed by remodeling, daily wear and tear, or simply age, that paint creates toxic dust especially harmful to children. The Portland Regional Lead Hazard Control Program (PRLHCP) - a consortium of Multnomah, Clackamas, Washington, and Clark counties and the cities of Beaverton, Gresham, and Portland - helps qualifying homeowners and rental property owners reduce lead hazards in their homes and properties.

Over the last 10 years, the PRLHCP has helped over 1,200 homeowners and rental property owners reduce lead hazards in their homes and properties. Thousands of children have been served in the last 10 years, and this significant grant will allow Lead Hazard Control Program partners to continue keeping some of our most vulnerable citizens safe. 

PHB celebrates milestones

December 4, 2009

Yesterday afternoon we joined community supporters, business and non-profit partners, and friends at an Open House to formally launch the new home of the Portland Housing Bureau in the Commonwealth Building.

The Open House was a time to celebrate the achievement of three major goals for 2009:

  • secure new funding for Housing Bureau programs;
  • build the Resource Access Center; and
  • create a new housing bureau by combining PDC’s housing programs and staff with the former Bureau of Housing and Community Development.

During the last budget cycle, with many bureaus taking 5% cuts, the budget for housing increased by 30%; we broke ground on the RAC on November 20; and, the creation of the new Portland Housing Bureau promises to streamline programming and services by combining the best of PDC and the Bureau of Housing and Community Development.

PHB's new space is sustainable and cost-effective, incorporating green features like recycled building materials and office furniture, natural light, and motion-sensitive lighting.

Congratulations to everyone who made this day possible!

Especially Margaret Van Vliet, the dynamic new leader of PHB.

Thanks to Jennifer Kalez for the photo!

Book release party honors Lawrence Halprin

December 4, 2009

Saturday afternoon, Nick spoke at a celebration featuring the release of Randy Gragg's book "Where the Revolution Began: Lawrence and Anna Halprin and the Reinvention of Public Space" Ziba headquarters in downtown Portland. All proceeds from the book will benefit The Halprin Land Conservancy, a Portland nonprofit founded to preserve Halprin's legacy, writes D.K. Row in the Saturday Oregonian. (See this article on for more about Saturday's event.)

Inspired by the natural environment and by his wife Anna's choreography, Lawrence Halprin taught us that public spaces can be beautiful, joyful, and lyrical. His work was transformational - Halprin's plazas are arguably the most influential works of architecture ever built in Portland. As the first Modern-era urban plazas to fully synthesize urban design and sculpture into a seamless whole, they changed the course of landscape history.

Nick is honored to be a part of this celebration of the life and work of Lawrence Halprin, and to announce a strategic partnership between the City of Portland and the Halprin Landscape Conservancy to restore and maintain the plazas. The first step of the partnership is a City-led effort to designate the Halprin Open Space Sequence a National Historic Landmark. That designation will protect and honor Halprin's plazas and fountains for generations to come.  

Thanks to flickr user Joseph Readdy for the great shot of Halprin's fountain across from Keller Auditorium in downtown Portland.

Portland Audubon Society wins Outstanding Volunteer Group Award

December 9, 2009

Nick will present the Audubon Society with the Outstanding Volunteer Group Award at this morning's Philanthropy Awards Luncheon presented by the Association of Fundraising Professionals.

Audubon has a lot to teach us about volunteer engagement. Their volunteer Council honors a clear set of values - stewardship of the natural world; making a difference in our community; and having fun - to help over 200 volunteers support the Audubon Society. Audubon volunteers give tours, teach Portlanders about our native wildlife and their habitats, and maintain trails and facilities.

We are all linked in our urban ecosystem. The health of birds and other fauna is an important indicator of our own quality of life - they are quite literally the canary in our urban coal mine. By focusing on bird habitat, Audubon is working to make our ecosystem, and us, healthier.