What UNR does, and why

Portland grassroots group United Neighborhoods for Reform seeks to stem the demolition of viable, affordable housing and its replacement with expensive and inefficient large single-family homes. Our demolition/development resolution, developed through significant neighbor outreach, gathered endorsements from 43 neighborhood associations citywide. We also regularly take our message to City Hall, starting in December 2014, continuing in 2015 on Feb. 12, June 3 (UNR presenters start at 51:20), Oct. 14 (UNR at 1:07:35), and Nov. 25 (UNR at 1:05); in 2016 on Feb. 17, Nov. 9 and 16, and Dec. 7; and in 2017 on May 17.

Next UNR sighting: The Joint Subcommittee on Natural Resources gives the devastating House Bill 2007 a much-needed public hearing (with two days' notice!) at 1 p.m. Thursday, June 22, in Salem, 900 Court St. NE, Room H-174. Have you sent your emails yet?

"The time is always right to do what is right."
—Martin Luther King Jr.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

If only all Mondays were this inspirational

Sign of the times: Modest well-sited homes look vulnerable.

Last night the United Neighborhoods for Reform (UNR) demolition/development resolution gathered more endorsements, from multiple quadrants of the city: Arlington Heights, Beaumont-Wilshire, Multnomah, and Powellhurst-Gilbert neighborhood associations.

At a time when discontent with city government and leadership among Portlanders is at an all-time high (in the past 20 years anyway), according to a recent item in Willamette Week, neighborhoods signal the need for change, adding their votes in favor of fewer demolitions and more beneficial development.

At the Powellhurst-Gilbert meeting, one neighbor who works for Lovett Deconstruction talked about taking apart and recycling structures that otherwise would have gone to the landfill. According to Restore Oregon, 2 percent of demolished homes is salvaged now. If a house must come down, and it contains quality materials, deconstruction is the right thing to do. The UNR demolition/development resolution suggests ways to incentivize it.

No one thought to build to all the maximums—until now.
Meanwhile the Bureau of Development Services seeks to hire more personnel. With entrenched views and allegiances, the bureau could use the new blood, and a more cooperative community-building stance. As Portland grows under the watch and stewardship of its many investors (homeowners and renters, too), we're all "business partners."

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