July 16th, 2009 5:33 pm | by BETH SLOVIC News | Posted In: CLEAN UP, City Hall, Business

Tenants in Aging Buildings Lose Housing Inspection Team

The cuts keep coming at Portland's Bureau of Development Services, which announced in June it would slash half of the bureau's 300 jobs.

Last month, that news was tempered (however slightly) by the fact the reductions would happen in waves, with 45 people losing their jobs in July and another 45 people getting pink slips in August. By December, the bureau would eliminate a total of about 150 people, according to Commissioner Randy Leonard — who manages the bureau.

This week, word is leaking out about the specific programs that will be axed in August as a result of the already announced downsizing, and one of those is the Chapter 13 Systematic Inspection Program.

The program may not sound sexy. But the 37-year-old program was designed to keep tabs on the safety of older buildings in Portland, and it is one of the things Portland has used to help vulnerable tenants in places like the Grove Hotel, a once nightmarish building now owned by the Housing Authority of Portland.

A total of about 400 buildings in Portland were inspected regularly as part of the Chapter 13 program.
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