City Hall Update: Gang violence down for second year
Gang violence continued to drop in Portland in 2017.
By the end of the year, the Portland Police Bureau's Gang Enforcement Team had investigated 122 incidents. That compares to 159 incidents, which was down from the official record high of 193 in 2015.
Almost all of the incidents in all three years were shootings. No one was reported injured in most of them.
Police veterans say the numbers were significantly higher in the 1980s and 1990s, when the increase in gang activity caught city leaders by surprise. Gang-related incidents were not tracked separately in those days, however.
Housing bureau keeps better tab on investments
The Portland Housing Bureau has improved its monitoring of affordable housing projects that are owned by other parties but partly built with city funds, according to an audit released last Tuesday.
The City Auditor's Office report found the PHB has followed up on recommendations in a 2014 audit and is now doing a better job ensuring that tenants are eligible to live in the buildings, that rents are appropriate, and that loan payments are being consistently made.
There are about 280 multifamily projects in the city's portfolio. The city actually will own the properties acquired and built by the PHB with the $284.5 million affordable housing bond approved at the November 2016 general election.
Home sale requirement kicked in on Jan. 1
On Jan. 1, Portland became the only city in the country to require sellers of single-family homes to disclose a home energy report and score at the time of listing.
The reports and scores must be produced by third-party home energy assessors authorized by the city and Earth Advantage. Costs are estimated to range from $150 to $250, although the city will offer them for free to income-qualified sellers.
The city expects the requirement will result in lower residential energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. More information can be found at www.pdxhes.com.