Portland mulls foreclosures for 1st time in 50 years

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — City officials in this booming Pacific Northwest metropolis have developed a plan to foreclose on so-called ‘zombie homes’ for first time in 50 years as Portland grapples with a swelling population and skyrocketing home costs that threaten to lock new homeowners out of the market.

The City Council will vote Wednesday on whether to foreclose on five nuisance properties so they can be restored with the goal of freeing up housing for buyers in an overheated market. There could be more than 400 similar homes in the Portland metro area that would qualify as vacant and abandoned.

Portland hasn’t foreclosed on a distressed property in more than 50 years and the plan marks a sharp policy shift that has some residents in poorer neighborhoods nervous about potential abuses of power.