592 Washington Avenue Apartment Building Declared Unfit for Occupancy

592 Washington Avenue, Found Unfit for Human Habitation Today.

592 Washington Avenue, Found Unfit for Human Habitation Today.

By Carol McCracken  (Post # 2,364)

An apartment building at 592 was evaluated today as unfit for occupancy by the City of Portland according to a press release issued by the City.  Following an evaluation today of the property with officials from the City’s inspections Division and Fire Prevention bureau, it was revealed that the structure fails to comply with several aspects of ‘city, state and Life Safety (Fire) Codes.   The residential dwelling units are unfit for human habitation and have now been ordered to remain vacant until the violations are corrected with and according to the proper building permits.  City inspectors deiivered the posting notice this afternoon along with staff from Social Services to assist the tenants.  There was a family of eight living on the first floor and the owner and owner’s son living on the second.

“It’s certainly not our goal to displace residents, but when the violations are serious enough to warrant it, we need take action because their safety is what matters most,” said Jon Jennings, Portland City Manager.  “Following the Council’s recent approval to create the new Housing Safety Office, which enacts the Task Force’s recommendations, staff has been developing a risk-based prioritization tool for inspections and public information  While this work is not yet complete, we do know that this property would score high, underscoring its importance.”

Some of the violations include blocked exists, unsafe wiring, excessive storage (fire load) inside and outside, cockroach infestation, and illegal unit(s).  The building is currently being used beyond its permitted legal use.  Tenants may not return until further notice from the City.  A re-inspection of the property will occur on July 24 to verify that the building is secure and va cant.

The City’s Corporation Counsel Office intends to pursue legal action against the property owner, including injunctive relief and civil penalties.