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Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Lost in the shuffle

City of Portland housing director Will White has been voted off the island. According to the O today, White is being shipped out in favor of some PDC types who will be taking over his responsibilities:

Under Mayor Sam Adams, the [Housing] Bureau is being reorganized and expanded and will encompass the traditional roles of affordable housing and homelessness while absorbing budget, employees and housing responsibilities from the Portland Development Commission. The PDC has traditionally funded home-ownership programs, constructed mixed-income developments and oversaw the city's tax incentives for affordable housing.

[City Commissioner Nick] Fish said the expanded bureau will not only serve the homeless and working poor, but will help seniors, disabled veterans, first-time home buyers and young families searching for housing in the city core.

Whatever, they'll be doing it without Will.

Comments (5)

Good Riddance. Will White and the Portland Housing Bureau were the worst thing that ever happened to Northeast Portland. They sucked up millions of federal housing dollars, controlled real estate, and prevented local families from buying homes in the area when they were affordable.

The housing bureau used its position as local middleman for federal grants to block locally controlled Community Development Corporations and instead funneled money and real estate into one the city-controlled CDC, PCRI. One of their off-the-books corporations Housing Our Families for years did not file income tax returns or conduct an audit, as required by federal law. The real estate they owned has disappeared with no known public record of what happened to it.

Are you an old timer? Then you remember Dominion Capital properties. What happened to these properties? Again, no known record. What we know for sure is that they were not acquired by local families who could have participated in the real estate appreciation of the 1990s.

Have you ever heard Will White talk at a Portland Housing Bureau public meeting? No you haven’t. The bureau never conducts public meetings. Never. It hides behind the PDC and lets that agency take the flack.

Eric Sten’s Housing Bureau cost Portland more money than the Water Bureau. The difference was the pain was concentrated in one area of town.

"Under Mayor Sam Adams"


The Dominion Capital homes that acquired by PCRI continue to provide affordable housing to working families in North/NE Portland that otherwise would've been priced out of an area where rentals have skyrocketed.

Folks who wanted to buy those houses to flip and profiteer are still MAD about this. Even though were plenty of other oppourtunities for speculators in NE in the early 90's.

And none of this was Wil White's dealio anyway. But I can't leave that rant unanswered.

"This will be a Housing Bureau that touches the lives of everyone in Portland." I can't wait to be "touched" by the homeless. I already feel "touched" by first time/last time? homebuyers whom cannot afford affordable housing.

Will was one of the good guys and did solid work under incredibly difficult circumstances in the City always with openness and professionalism. I've worked with him on several projects and he was one of the few people to vehemently defend affordable housing of all levels in the original South Waterfront plans while at the same time being very vocal about balancing the budget down there(PDC and Council eventually ignored his recommendations).

Will resigned from the City voluntarily. Insiders tell me it is because he felt he could no longer work ethically under Adams. So hats off to Will for doing the right thing. I wouldn't want to work for a lying mayor who is showing lack of leadership and his bunch of unqualified appointed staff either.

The PCRI and Dominion Capital deal had nothing to do with Will, by the way.

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