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City promises to conduct a national search to replace the departing Portland House Bureau director.

COURTESY PHOTO: KRISTYNA WENTZ-GRAFF / OPB - A May 2022 file photo of a notice that tents in downtown Portland will be cleared away. The city's housing bureau director is leaving at a time when there are more people living on the city's streets than there are housing units available to them.

Portland Housing Bureau Director Shannon Callahan is leaving her post after five years leading the city's response to the region's affordable housing crisis. Her last day will be Aug. 1.

"It has been a privilege to work with the dedicated, passionate and exceptional team of public servants at the bureau," Callahan said, according to a statement in a press release announcing her departure. "After five years, though, it is time for me to move on to other opportunities and challenges."

Before leading the housing bureau, Callahan served for over a decade as policy director for Commissioner Dan Saltzman, where she helped usher in inclusionary zoning policies and protections for tenants, among other housing initiatives.

It's not immediately clear if Callahan signed a severance agreement, a typical indicator that a bureaucrat is not leaving of their own accord. Asked if Callahan and city leaders reached a severance agreement for her departure, Ryan's staff said they could not discuss personnel issues and referred OPB to the city's human resources department.

Callahan's exit comes as the homelessness crisis continues to roil the city, and the number of people living on the street is far more than the number of housing units available to them. And it comes two months after the housing bureau mistakenly wired $1.4 million meant for a nonprofit housing provider to a fraudulent account.

Oregon Public Broadcasting is a news partner of the Portland Tribune. Their full story can be found here.


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