Homeless cabins built along prime riverside real estate in Portland

Residents living near Portland’s Willamette River said they have encountered several homeless cabins and structures being built on prime river real estate with “million-dollar” city views, however they have said they haven’t been able to get anyone to come in and resolve the problem.

“Pretty much everyone comes back and says that they don’t have jurisdiction because it’s Union Pacific, it’s a railroad,” Ric Scaramella, who owns a condominium on the other side of the Willamette River, told KOIN in a report Sunday.

Scaramella told the outlet that people across the river from his home have been building makeshift cabins, complete with doors, windows and sometimes even solar panels, on the banks of the river that feature views of downtown Portland.

Scaramella said he can see “about nine structures” built on the banks of the river, making clear that they are not tents. These are structures.”

Scaramella expressed his concern for the people living in the structures, stating that there are no city services and that pollution might be flowing from the buildings into the river. Yet, in what he says have been “30, 40” attempts to report the structures to local and state agencies, nobody has had a solution to the issue.

According to a reporter for an outlet who took a boat to get a closer look at the structures, many of the buildings are made out of driftwood and resemble beaver dams, while further down the river there was a collection of garbage and debris on the shoreline.

One woman who identified herself only as “Paula” agreed to chat with the outlet, telling KOIN that she has lived on her spot along the shore “off and on for about a year and a half.”

“I have anxiety issues, and I think I have personality disorders, too, that I’m dealing with. I think that’s what’s kept me out here so long,” Paula said, admitting that she has become addicted to meth since suffering a bad breakup.

“There’s a few shelters I like. They would have been great except for the no-drugs thing. That sucks. I don’t think drugs are my problem,” she said. “I think my problem is I have no place to wash my hair and go to the bathroom.”

At this stage, no government agency has claimed responsibility for the area occupied by the structures, with multiple agencies telling KOIN that the property is owned by railroad company Union Pacific. Meanwhile, Union Pacific says the area is governed by complicated common-law rules.




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Paul, 37, is from Scotland in the UK, but currently lives and works in Bangkok. Paul has worked in different industries such as telemarketing, retail, hospitality, farming, insurance, and teaching, where he works now. He teaches at an all-girls High School in Bangkok. “It’s a lot of work, but I love my job.” Paul has an active interest in politics. His reason for writing for FBA is to offer people the facts and allow them to make up their own minds. Whilst he believes opinion columns have their place, it is also important that people can have accurate news with no bias.

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