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.

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

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Resolution notches first endorsement!

Nancy Thorington, attorney for BDS,
leads the developers' effort for the city.
While we await more good news from the city's 95 neighborhood associations, consider this: At yesterday's demolition subcommittee overseen by Bureau of Development Services attorney Nancy Thorington (right), it became clear that the developer-led group wants things to stay the same even if City Council has asked them to come up with solutions to address neighbor outcry and the record-breaking loss of unique affordable housing citywide.

That means the definition of demolition that City Council is likely to hear next month doesn't materially change what occurs now. We'll still see that single floorboard or post in the air showing neighbors this is just a "remodel," nothing to see here, move along folks, and never mind that bulldozer. Never mind that an affordable home disappears and a particleboard palace rises in its place.

Issues brought to the fore in a recent series
of summits that drew activists from 37 neighborhoods.
United Neighborhoods for Reform knows the resolution released Nov. 1 isn't perfect, but it does point the way to more thoughtful, positive development—and takes steps to slow the demolitions. Approve this document and Portland might be able to call itself a "green" city again.

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