State bails out problem house in Tigard from foreclosure

KPTV photo.

Residents in a quiet Tigard neighborhood say they are frustrated after a drug house was bailed out of foreclosure by the state.

In the past five years, police say they have responded to nearly 600 calls at the home on Southwest Gentle Woods Drive, and have seized hundreds of syringes and prescription drugs.

In last few weeks, there have been two police calls to the home.

In turn, the chief of police sent a letter to work on an abatement plan, but neighbors aren’t holding their breath, including Kelley Ilic, who lives just a few blocks away.

“It’s just constant activity and constant people coming and going from the house, and never quite knowing who you’re going to see or what they’re doing and if you’re safe,” Ilic said.

She says she often fears for her family’s safety.

‘You never know what’s going on, or what to expect, or who’s on your street,” Ilic said. “So you’re constantly on edge, you’re constantly worried about yourself and your family and your neighbors.”

Tigard police say officers raided the house twice in the past eight years and recovered everything from ecstasy and heroin to hundreds of syringes and prescription drugs.

Within the last three years, police confirm they’ve made at least 16 arrests at the home for outstanding warrants.

The home recently went into foreclosure, but the state bailed it out, according to a spokesman from Oregon Housing and Community Services.

The spokesman says the homeowner received help through the Hardest Hit Fund program, which has been helping families since 2010.

The Gentle Woods Drive homeowner received funds through a subset program called the Loan Preservation Assistance Program, which provides up to $40,000 in financial assistance to help homeowners catch up on mortgage payments and property taxes to reinstate loans.

There are several qualifications to receive the financial assistance. First, a homeowner can’t be in active bankruptcy. A borrower’s income cannot exceed 160 percent of the state median income and must meet a 45 percent housing expense-to-income ratio.

They also cannot have a criminal record related to money crimes, such as tax evasion or money laundering.

The state is not required to do a background check. A spokesman says if federal agencies were to conduct more thorough criminal screenings, it could fall under fair housing issues and discriminate against communities of color and keep minorities from owning homes.

The state says, for example, the homeowner rate is 30 percent for African Americans in Oregon. It’s more than double at 63 percent for Caucasian households.

Neighbors like Ilic say they feel this allows for folks to abuse the system.

FOX 12 spoke with a woman who lives at the home about the abatement plan, to give them a chance to voice their side of the story.

“Oh, that’s been taken care of,” she said. ‘Everything has already been taken care of, there’s a little bit of a misconception in the neighborhood as to the reality of the situation.”

Neighbors don’t necessarily agree.

“A misconception about what?” Charlotte Haines said. “It’s very obvious.”

Tigard police say if officers respond to the home again within a 120-day period, the homeowner will face fines of up to $1,000 per day and per crime.

Copyright 2018 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.



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