The staff was instructed to move the tenants renting at 25 Boyd Street to another building at the end of November said Brian Frost, Executive Director of Portland Housing Authority yesterday morning in a telephone interview. “Staff failed to make that happen,” he said. Frost, who has been at the helm of PHA for 13 months, was mum on whether or not any follow-up with the staff occurred to determine whether or not the instruction to relocate two tenants from a mold infested apartment had been followed. Frost said it was a “personnel” matter about which he could not comment.
Frost said PHA had two options: the first was to move the tenants to a hotel. The second option was to relocate them to a different unit at Kennedy Park.
Exposure to mold can cause serious respiratory health issues, including damaging the lungs. When asked if Frost was aware of these dangers he said he was aware of the health issues in the apartments at 25 Boyd Street, in Kennedy Park.. A Canadian, he did say that he has been in the housing business for about 50 years and at PHA since 2020. “We failed to take prompt action,” Frost admitted.
Although he seemed reluctant to talk about the current situation, the loquacious Frost was not reluctant to tell this blogger that 25 Boyd Street and three other buildings in the immediate area are scheduled to be razed. PHA is working with the city currently on this effort. Twenty-five Boyd Street, that is 50 years old, was poorly designed when it was built. PHA has been working for 6 – 9 months to replace 25 Boyd Street with a 55 unit building. That construction could be completed in the next three years. In the interim, PHA is working with HUD to determine how to make the apartment building habitable until then.
“We need to do better,” said Frost.
There is a rumor that the tenants of 25 Boyd Street are comtemplating suing PHA. Frost said he was unaware of this rumor. Pine Tree Legal was unavailable to confirm or deny the rumor today.
Despite multiple requests for a comment on the situation at Kennedy Park, the city’s spokeswoman did not respond..However, that does not come as a surprise because Portland is considered by many to be anti-renter..