SUMMARY -- MARCH 6 CULLY HOUSING ACTION TEAM (CHAT) MEETING
March 6, 2018 – 5:30 pm – 8 pm by Marilyn Mauch
City Council Hearings on the Relo Ordinance, Feb. 28th& March 7
The Relocation Ordinance, commonly called the “Relo Ordinance,” was set to be in effect for only one year. It enabled households served a no-cause eviction or a rent increase of 10 percent or higher in a 12 month period to be paid relocation assistance by their landlord. The City Council Hearing on February 28 was 1) to vote on whether or not to make the ordinance permanent and 2) to address rentals to tenants who occupy the same dwelling unit as the landlord or a landlord who rents only a single dwelling unit in the city of Portland. Approximately 24% of rentals fall into these categories.
The Interfaith Alliance provided a van and John Elizalde drove 15 Cully residents to the City Hall hearing on the 28th. A handful of Interfaith Alliance folks attended the hearing via other transportation.
Council consideration of the ordinance at the 28th meeting started later than anticipated and while the council members generally seemed supportive of making the ordinance permanent, they wanted to discuss further policy regarding rentals of single dwelling units. At the subsequent council session on March 7th, the commissioners made permanent the February 2016 renter relocation policy. What’s new? Landlords renting single dwelling units are no longer exempt to the provisions of the Relo Ordinance except in limited circumstances.
- Good News!! The city will fund 75 new affordable housing units in Cully! Drawing on the 250 million in bond monies for affordable housing, the City will buy property to build 75 affordable housing units in Cully. The contract is in process and the location of the housing can’t be announced yet.
- Reaching out to African Americans living in the Cully area. Living Cully received a small grant of $3,000 to host events to engage African Africans living in Cully. A series of game nights will take place at the Living Cully Plaza with the first scheduled for Friday, March 16, 6-9 pm.
- Hacienda CDC News The full name of Hacienda CDC is Latino Community Development Corporation. Formed in 1992, its mission is four-fold: To strengthen families by providing affordable housing, homeownership support, economic advancement and educational opportunities. The corporation’s offices are located in a large, colorful building at the corner of 67thAvenue and Killingsworth Avenue, directly across from the Living Cully Plaza building. In the Cully neighborhood, the corporation has already built housing communities on four vacant lots and renovated one run-down apartment complex – (a former hotbed of drug activity and prostitution), thereby creating in total 325 units of community-centered affordable rental housing in Cully.
Exciting, Promising Milestone - But City Funding
Needed! Hacienda has now completed all plans for the redevelopment of the Living Cully Plaza building, formerly known as the Sugar Shack. The Shack cannot be salvaged. Hacienda CDC must now go to the City to ask for monies to finance the rebuilding of the Plaza property. Hacienda CDC met with residents to gather information about their needs for the building. A new building will provide 150 affordable housing units, a community gathering space, laundry facilities and much more tailored to Cully family needs.
Breakout Groups: Those present broke into three study/planning groups. They were: 1) Land acquisition – supporting Hacienda’s efforts to buy properties and develop Living Cully Plaza; 2) Eliminating barriers to home ownership; and 3) Engagement strategies for youth.
The Home Ownership Group is new and just beginning its work. A number of families have rented in the Cully neighborhood for a rather long time. They wish to open bank accounts, start putting money into the bank and perhaps someday be able to use the savings toward the purchase of a home. The purpose of the Home Ownership Group is to 1) acquire information about opening a bank account and 2) what’s involved in trying to buy a home, 3) how to spread the information to other Cully residents and last, 4) to advocate with first-time homeowner programs such as Habitat. These organizations might open the possibility of homeownership to them.
Some of the questions/points that arose at our short breakout session were:
. Can one get a bank loan if the person doesn’t have a social security number?
. Can one buy a home if the person doesn’t have a social security number?
. How does one get an ITIN necessary to open a bank account? (An ITIN is a nine-digit tax processing number assigned, for example, to people who do not have a legal status or social security number in the U.S.)