PENDLETON, Oregon – Staff for the Pendleton Development Commission is working on a census of blighted homes in the downtown area. Associate Director Charles Denight says intern Kaitlyn Cook is compiling a database of the properties and information about their owners as the PDC explores making funds available to fix the eyesores.
“A lot of them are rentals, but there are a number of them that are owned by people who live in them, but who have very low or almost no income, and they’re not able to fix them up because they just don’t have the money,” Denight said.
The census by Cook is essential to giving the PDC a comprehensive overview of downtown blight.
“Amongst the owners, you can identify people who own homes and rent them and maybe don’t do a good job of keeping them up; or there are people that own the homes and live in them; or there are people that own them, inherited them, and they live somewhere else.”
The PDC has been providing grants and low-interest loans to businesses in the downtown area for years for façade improvement, expansion, and second-story development. It has not yet tackled the issue of helping the owners of blighted homes.