Neighbors looking forward to Portland foreclosing on nearby ‘zom - KPTV - FOX 12

Neighbors looking forward to Portland foreclosing on nearby ‘zombie home’

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While so-called “zombie homes” around Portland have neighbors concerned over falling property values and security risks, the city is trying to solve the issue by foreclosing on the properties. (KPTV) While so-called “zombie homes” around Portland have neighbors concerned over falling property values and security risks, the city is trying to solve the issue by foreclosing on the properties. (KPTV)
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

Hundreds of homes in Portland sit vacant, sometimes temporary shelter for squatters and other times just deteriorating eyesores.

People have taken to calling these properties "zombie homes," and frustrated neighbors around the city are tired of having to deal with them.

Jim Dohman has complained to Portland city officials six times about the abandoned home across the street from his. Now as he is trying to sell his house, he can’t help but wonder how buyers will react.

"We have our home currently on the market,” he said. “How much impact does a property like that have on people when they drive by, see the sign or look around the neighborhood."

Lloyd Kimeldorf’s home is next door to the house. He said the overgrown weeds and grass is a headache, and someone recently abandoned a car in the driveway.

“We moved in about 4 to 5 years ago,” he said. “I can only imagine what it looks like inside.”

In June, Portland's City Council made a move to begin addressing the inventory of abandoned and distressed homes, passing an ordinance authorizing the city to foreclose on four properties with outstanding liens and code violations.

"It was the first time in over 40 years where they had taken this step, so it was very monumental," Mike Liefeld, Enforcement Program Manager for the Bureau of Development Services, said.

Liefeld noted that foreclosure was traditionally a way for the city to collect unpaid fines and recover costs, but in the most recent case, it's being used as a tool to bring "zombie homes" back to life.

"You have people who want these properties. There is a need, a demand," he said.

The vacant home across from Dohman's is on the next list of foreclosures being considered by the city council.

Liefeld said the home's owner can still sell the property before the city auctions it off, which happened with two homes on the previous foreclosure list.

Dohman said he's happy the city is finally doing something but still wishes the process could be streamlined.

“To me, the issue is it takes too long to identify who these problem landlords, these problem property owners are,” he said. “It affects everybody on the block.”

Kimeldorf said he is hoping that someone can come in and bring new life to the “zombie house.”

“It was pretty fixable. Now it's getting to a point where I don't know what is and what isn't,” he said. “But it's a nice home. It could make a nice home for somebody.”

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