Cuts make inspections harder

Cuts to Portland’s Bureau of Development Services are making inspections more difficult.

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At least half of the bureau’s 300 employees are expected to get laid off, adding strain to the workload for neighborhood inspections.

One area in which the workload has not declined much is the neighborhood inspections division. In fiscal year 2007, the city dealt with 3,059 cases of possible code violations. The following year, the number dropped by less than 2 percent, to 3,005.

Yet, the neighborhood inspections division is undergoing cuts just like all the others because it, too, faces declining revenue. So far, it’s lost four out of 10 housing inspectors and two out of three code specialists, a reduction that worries activists like Valerie Curry, president of the Argay Neighborhood Association in outer Northeast.

“I’m not blaming BDS if they don’t have the revenue, but I’m just wondering if there shouldn’t be some other way of funding the program,” Curry says. “Without them [the inspectors], we would be a mess.”

Read the full story at the Willamette Week.