Request of Nathaniel Lufian to address Council regarding the building management at Vera Riverplace Apartments

Placed on File

A brief description of Communication: 

Good afternoon City of Portland,

My name is Nathaniel Lufian; My child and I live in Vera Riverplace Apartments in Downtown Portland. Vera Riverplace is an affordable housing community with a mix of LIHTC and project based section 8 units. The building is owned by Bridge Housing
and the city of Portland invested heavily in its construction.

I wish to testify before city council regarding the building management's unwillingness to spend even a dollar of the two-million dollars per year that they receive in our rent and federal tax credits cleaning the hallway carpet; The management absolutely never ever cleans that carpet. There are over 200 units in this building and there happens to be a very large number of dogs and service animals that live here; The many dogs that live here regularly defecate and urinate on the hallway carpet. Dispite the carpet being defecated and urinated on by animals on a regular basis, the carpet has not been washed even once during 2021. The carpet is getting so unsanitary that myself and several other residents are beginning to feel strongly that the carpet presents a public health hazard to the many children and adults that live here; This is becoming an unsafe place for my child to live and I feel that my child deserves a clean, safe and sanitary environment to grow-up in.

Imagine that you lived in a huge giant house with 200 other people, their spouses, their children and a very large number of dogs under the same roof. Now imagine that you just decide that you are never ever going to wash the carpet in this hypothetical home. How unbelievably gross do you think the carpet would be in this home? Well keep that picture in your mind for a moment, because that is exactly how gross the carpet is at Vera Riverplace.

Me and several other residents have complained to Bridge Housing numerous times about the gross unsanitary hallway carpet and how the management never ever washes it. However, Bridge Housing continues to appear to be completely unwilling to spend any money whatsoever cleaning that carpet.

This egregious situation should absolutely not be allowed to happen in affordable housing in Portland. Non-profit property owners like Bridge Housing should not be allowed to accept massive investments from local government entities to build new properties for them to own and then turn around and extract as much money from the residents as possible while never ever cleaning the carpets in the building and creating a painfully obvious public health hazard to the residents.

There must be some kind of city ordinance or something somewhere that says landlords must provide clean and safe living conditions for the residents. If no such ordinance exists, I urge you to consider creating one.

I'm still a bit confused about how this works. Do I come to testify next Wednesday? Or, do I get put on some kind of waiting list? What time do I arrive and where do I go? [Please see the e-mail string below]

Thank you and have a wonderful evening!
- Nathaniel Lufian

On Tuesday, July 6, 2021, 10:08:56 AM PDT, City Info <cityinfo@portlandoregon.gov> wrote:

Nathaniel – Since you already included the Mayor’s Office on this email I will just add a couple of other pieces of information. If you wish to sign up to testify at a City Council meeting you may contact the City Council Clerk at Attention: Council Clerk,
1221 SW 4th Ave Room 130 Portland OR 97204 or email cctestimony@portlandoregon.gov, Every Wednesday Council meetings begin with public communications where community members can talk about any topic they wish for up to 3 minutes.

I am also copying Commissioner Dan Ryan’s Office as he is the Council member in charge of the Portland Housing Bureau.

To file a complaint related to property maintenance with the City’s Property Compliance Division you may call 503-823-2633 or complete their online reporting form at http://www.portlandoregon.gov/b…

John R Dutt
311 Customer Service Supervisor
City of Portland, Office of Management and Finance
d: (503) 865-2625

From: Nathaniel Lufian
Sent: Sunday, July 4, 2021 3:15 PM
To: City Info <cityinfo@portlandoregon.gov>; Wheeler, Mayor <MayorWheeler@portlandoregon.gov>
Cc: TheVera <thevera@bridgehousing.com>; James Valva <jvalva@bridgehousing.com>
Subject: Unsafe Affordable Housing

Good afternoon City of Portland:

My child and I are residents at Vera Riverplace Apartments, an affordable housing community that the City of Portland provided funding to build. The building owner (Bridge Housing), never ever cleans the hallway carpets; they just lightly vacuum the carpets a few days per week and nothing more. There are over 200 units/residents in the 13 floor building and a very large number of pets and service animals. Pets and service animals regularly defecate and urinate on the hallway carpet. Dispite dogs
and service animals regularly dedicating and urinating on the hallway carpet, Bridge Housing appears to be unwilling to spend even a dollar of the two-million dollars per year that they receive in our rent and federal tax credits cleaning the carpet. My family and I (as well as several other residents) are beginning to feel very strongly that the filthy hallway carpet is starting to become so bad that it presents a public health risk to the residents of the building.

We (the residents) wish to ask the city for a public meeting to discuss the unwillingness of Bridge Housing to provide a clean, safe and sanitary living environment for the vulnerable low-income residents of Vera Riverplace Apartments. We feel strongly that never ever washing the hallway carpet is not responsible building management; The carpet should be washed regularly. We wish to be provided with instructions for how to request such a public meeting with the city counsel. I have spoken to several of the residents and many of us are willing to sign a petition and provide photographs of the unsanitary living conditions if necessary.

Thank you and have a wonderful evening!

- Nathaniel Lufian

Agenda Items

570 Communications in July 21-22, 2021 Council Agenda

Placed on File

Date and Time Information

Requested Council Date