Everett Dumpster Homes to Destroy 100 ft. Laurelhurst Sequoia for a 4200 sf POS McMonstrosity

(emphasis mine!!)

(click on gallery for enlargements)

On 4/26/16 11:02 AM, Deodato, John wrote:

Hi Steve,

I thought the subject tree removal, which will take place in a couple of weeks would be worthy of a post on your website. Your site has some very good information and helpful links. Having seen the character of many of the older east side neighborhoods be ruined by this type of predatory development we need more people involved in finding a solution.

The tree in question sits on one of the few undeveloped double lots remaining in the Laurelhurst neighborhood. From 1958-2015 this property at the corner of 39th Ave. & Hazelfern Place was owned by Walter and Jean Kramer. Upon their passing it went into a trust that was responsible for maintaining and eventually selling the property. Unfortunately, the asking price ($950K) almost assured nobody would come along and purchase the property and keep the double lot intact. The house (1008 NE Cesar Chavez Blvd) on the corner lot recently sold to Jamie & Joanie Daubenspeck, and the separate lot (3913 NE Hazelfern) was purchase by Everett Custom Homes Inc. for $410,000 which put it out of my price range.

I have recently been informed by Everett Custom Homes that they plan to build a massive 4,200 sq. ft. house on the empty lot next to my house in Laurelhurst, and will be cutting down a 100 ft. Sequoia in the process. Sound familiar? Photos of the tree and plans of the house going up are attached. It’s bad enough the house in no way fits the character of the neighborhood, but to remove this redwood tree has our entire neighborhood enraged at this developer.

We’ve already met with the builder and were informed that construction will start mid-May, with the first action being the removal of all trees on the property. I have been looking into what legal actions Jamie & I can take, but there seems to be little recourse. If you have any recommendations we’d love to hear from you. I partially blame myself for not having the foresight to have registered this as a Heritage Tree while the Kramer’s were still living there. I personally do not have any issues with Everett Custom Homes Inc., and they have actually been very responsive to our calls & emails. I do plan to verify they have all required permits, including one to remove this tree to be sure they are acting within existing zoning and construction laws.

I have sent similar emails to both Friends of Trees & Save the Portland Redwoods, but have received no reply or feedback. Having seen the news story recently regarding the in-fill development of the vacant lot on Peacock Lane, and the fact that Everett Custom Homes was one of  the developers involved in purchasing that property I felt compelled to send a similar email to both KGW & FOX 12 but never heard back from them either.

We’d appreciate your assistance in getting the word out on your website. Until we have sane zoning laws that limit construction size and density and that protect historic neighborhoods, we will continue to see the character of our city erode by development of this type.

Best regards,

John

 

John Deodato
Chief Engineer
Hyster-Yale Group
Counterbalanced Development Center
Office: 1-503-721-6191
john.deodato@hyster-yale.com
http://www.hyster-yale.com/

Homelessness: Portland’s Great Depression Hoovervilles vs. ‘Hales-villes’

Joseph Rose | The Oregonian/OregonLiveBy Joseph Rose | The Oregonian/OregonLive
Email the author | Follow on Twitter
on April 23, 2016 at 8:08 AM, updated April 23, 2016 at 8:21am

Portland Mayor Charlie Hales’experiment with homeless camping along the waterfront, in public parks and on busy downtown sidewalks hasn’t won him any popularity contests.

In fact, this week, a new coalition of business and neighborhood groups sued the city and Hales, calling his pro-camping policy an illegal abuse of power because the City Council never signed off.

But the debate over what to do with unwelcome and unpermitted homeless habitats in Portland has been kicking up political dust storms since the Great Depression.

Eight decades before the Hales-villes, the city put up with shantytowns known as Hoovervilles.

Named after unpopular Republican President Herbert Hoover, the rag-tag neighborhoods of shacks made from scrap wood, car parts, corrugated tin and cardboard boxes became a ubiquitous symbol of 1930s desperation.

When homelessness gets personal: What can one person do? (Column)

A range of possible reactions ran through my mind. Should I say something? Should I lean the seat back and hide? Should I make eye contact?

The itinerant, unemployed population of Ross Island City, also known as the Happy Hooligan Camp, made up Portland’s largest Hooverville. During the most severe years of the Depression, some 300 people called it home.Located under the west end of the Ross Island Bridge, the village had its own elected mayor, commissary and post office. Its streets were called Hollywood Avenue and Main Streets. Residents paid “taxes” by going on garbage-collection patrols.

No known injuries after several tents catch fire at Southeast Portland homeless camp (photos)

The fire sent smoke wafting over the Hawthorne Bridge and Willamette River Thursday afternoon.

Its suburb of Hooeyville stretched into what is now the high-end neighborhood of South Waterfront. Hooeyville actually had a community Finnish steam bath and a flushing toilet, which, of course, drained into the Willamette River.

Screen Shot 2016-02-05 at 4.25.56 PM.png

In 1933, the Hooverville’s mayor, Otto Olsen, objected when heheard the new Sullivan’s Gulch shantytown on the east side of the river boasted “the modernity of a telephone,” The Oregonian reported.

Yale launches database of Depression-era Oregon photos

Using the Yale-developed interactive browsing tool called Programmer, the collection features hundreds of images of Portland’s “Hooverville” settlement and Oregon migrant families snapped by legendary photojournalist Dorothea Lange.

“We feel that if some good citizen will help us get a phone we will be in a better position to get jobs,” Olsen told the newspaper.In 1936, the FDR-created Works Progress Administration sent photographer Arthur Rothstein to document Portland’s Hoovervilles. Looking at Rothstein’s photos, the problem of the city’s modern Hales-villes, while alarming and in increasingly dire need of a solution, appears negligible by comparison.

Tent city near Hawthorne Bridge cleared; needles and debris left behind (Photos)

Over the past few days, the site’s apparently homeless denizens have mostly pulled up stakes, leaving behind piles of clothes, bike parts, needles and other debris.

— Joseph Rose
503-221-8029
jrose@oregonian.com
@josephjrose

‘Yes In My Back Yard’: A housing conversation with @SFyimby

http://www.oregonlive.com/front-porch/index.ssf/2016/04/yes_in_my_back_yard_a_housing.html
by Luke Hammill | The Oregonian/OregonLive
on April 15, 2016 at 5:00 AM, updated April 15, 2016 at 11:13 AM

SAN FRANCISCO — Sonja Trauss has taken one of society’s more toxic labels – NIMBY, or Not In My Back Yard – and flipped it on its head.

Trauss, 34, is the leader of the San Francisco Bay Area Renters’ Federation, or SF BARF. (Humor is an intentional part of the group’s strategy, Trauss said.) She’s also the identity behind the @SFyimby Twitter account, for Yes In My Back Yard.

It started in late 2013, when Trauss, frustrated with skyrocketing rents in the Bay Area, began attending planning hearings and unequivocally supporting any new development projects. Her logic: Rents are high in San Francisco because there is not enough housing, so the solution is to build more of it. In her crosshairs are neighborhood groups that try to stop new housing from being built near them.

Trauss ended up gaining so much attention that in December 2014, she was able to quit her job as a math teacher and take on the movement full-time. SF BARF has raised money from tech workers – often vilified as the cause of surging home prices – the real estate industry and others.

The group’s political actions have included running a slate of candidates in an unsuccessful effort to take over San Francisco’s chapter of the Sierra Club (SF BARF accused the club of opposing new infill development) and even suing a suburban city for allegedly not building its fair share of housing.

Since rents are rising fast in Portland, as well, The Oregonian/OregonLive recently caught up with Trauss in San Francisco. What follows is a transcript of the conversation, edited for length and clarity. 

How did you get involved in the movement for affordable housing?

I had worked for my neighborhood association in Philadelphia, so I knew my way around a little bit, like the planning process. And here, there were all these articles, like the Kim-Mai Cutler article, and Matthew Yglesias had been writing some pro-density stuff. And so when we were sharing this on our Facebook pages and complaining to each other at the bar and stuff, everybody agreed with each other.

20122349-large-1.jpegSonja Trauss tweets from @SFyimby and leads the San Francisco Bay Area Renters’ Federation, a pro-development group of renters that wants cities to build more housing. Photo courtesy of Sonja Trauss

I wanted to make a club of crazy people fordevelopment. I didn’t even know if it was a dumb idea. So I did. And that was the first time we actually went to a hearing, like there were two or three of us. And we testified in favor of this building, these 97 apartments. There was a tree that was going to have to get cut down that was really beautiful. And this one lady was like, “The hummingbirds live in it, and they’re living jewels, so please protect us.” So we went up there and were like, “What about the 150 people that are going to live here just when it opens? That doesn’t even count the 70 years that it’s going to exist. Please think of them, and screw this tree.” And it was so novel, that a million coffee dates later, I was able to quit my job. The message has resonated with a lot of people.

To a lot of people, it probably seems like a strange alliance – renters and developers. 

It does seem like a strange alliance. One reason why it’s a strange alliance, sometimes people say, “developer.” What they mean is, “landlord.” I don’t consider landlords to be developers. They don’t make anything new. They just manage something that exists. So yeah, if when you hear the word, “developer,” you think of landlords, then it doesn’t make sense.

The same people who were fighting to save low-rent apartment buildings and SROs [single-room occupancy units] are still in the pro-tenant movement. And they’ve just spent decades fighting development, and I think they just got confused. Like, they lost sight of the point of it all.

Tell me about the effort to sue the suburbs.

Zoning was practically invented to protect it from apartment buildings. And people are still jealously guarding it. Now, it turns out that the state of California actually has some pretty strong state housing laws that are designed to try to force cities to zone for growth. Every seven years, you have to submit a housing element, and you have to show in the housing element that you have plots of land that are zoned to accommodate growth. And cities screw around with that process, but every now and then, they do actually zone a piece of land for high density. It’s an attractive piece of land, and a developer shows up, and they say, “Great. I see you’re zoned for an 80-unit apartment building. That’s what I want to build. Let’s do it.” And if you propose something within the zoning, the city is not allowed to turn it down. They don’t have the discretion. That’s the Housing Accountability Act.

Well, a lot of times they do anyway, because the Housing Accountability Act has to be enforced by lawsuit. The attorney general of the state of California – like, they could enforce it, but they don’t. So it goes unused and underused.

There was a bold developer in Lafayette [on eastern edge of the Bay Area] who proposed a 315-unit apartment building 100 percent within the zoning. No variances, nothing. Four years later, what they got approved was 44 single-family homes. … So we sued them. I wrote the initial petition. It took a little time to find a lawyer and get money together. And we’ll see what happens.

How do you feel about the fact that all the new development tends to cater to higher-income tenants?

I think that’s normal. New stuff is always expensive. I’ve never had new furniture. I’ve never had a new car. I’ve never lived in a new house. I didn’t get the iPhone when it first came out. It’s completely natural and obvious that new housing would be more expensive than existing housing. Now, luckily, in basically every city, like 98 or 99 percent of all your housing is old housing. So if you’re looking at your housing situation, new housing is actually kind of negligible. And what you have to ask about is, what are the rent levels in your existing housing?

If your town, like San Francisco, has a lot of new high-income residents, it’s appropriate to build expensive housing for them to live in. High income and expensive housing – it’s a match. The problem, what San Francisco’s done is really wasted the opportunity to take advantage of high wages. You want high-wage workers to be paying off the construction loans on new, expensive buildings. If they don’t do that, because you don’t allow the new building, you miss the opportunity to get new housing built, and housing is infrastructure. Cities need it.

High-wage workers are still paying a lot of money, but they’re paying to existing landlords. And they’re paying it on properties that have long been paid off. So it’s literally just a bonanza for landlords.

Do you feel like your movement is catching on? Or do you feel like you’re up against an unwinnable battle?

Those are both true. We are definitely up against really strong, entrenched forces. This is a real political fight. It’s not going to be easy at all.

On the other hand, the message has been super popular. There’s a lot of people with the experience of trying to find a place to live and realizing that they’re competing with hundreds of other people. And so it’s a thing that people feel in their bones. And it’s a super simple message. The message is, “We have a lot of people. We ran out of room. We gotta make more room.” I mean, there are political fights where both sides are complicated, but this is not one of them.

Do you feel like you’ve re-cast the role of renters, or re-cast renters as a political group and what they do or should stand for?

Absolutely. Because up until now, the renters’ movement just didn’t have room for the idea that maybe we should add capacity unless that capacity is fully subsidized.

But middle- and high-wage renters exist. And we’re in this insane place right now, at least in San Francisco, where we don’t need a subsidy from the government. We just need permission to build. We have people with incomes, good incomes. They can more than pay the costs associated with building housing. There are people who want to build that housing. This isn’t the ’30s, where there’s no financing. It’s not the ’40s, where there’s no materials because we’re at war. We have everything. But the law is in the way.

What is the next item on the agenda right now?

In San Francisco, it’s organizing and showing our strength. I mean yes, there’s a list of laws that we want to see enacted. Our mayor’s really trying. He really wants part of his legacy to be successfully upzoning the west side. So far, no one has been able to do that. All the changes in zoning on the west side since the ’70s have been downzonings. So we’re really working hard to support him on that, because we do have political support. But we’re really also just fighting to get organized, fighting to show that we exist.

Last question. If you could tell the people of Portland, Oregon, one thing, what would you tell them?

Please allow development without displacement. Allow single-family homeowners to tear their houses down and build fourplexes. That is the gold standard for adding capacity without kicking anyone out. It’s good for the homeowner, because that person winds up being richer than they would’ve beforehand. It’s good for the four or six or eight people who wind up living in that lot.

The only downside is that it changes neighborhood character, which is aesthetic and subjective and not nearly as important as things like preventing sprawl, keeping people from having to have two-hour commutes, keeping people from having to spend their retirement savings today on rent. It’s all that, versus, “Oh, but I like the way this neighborhood looks. It’s cute to me.” Don’t fall for it.

— Luke Hammill
lhammill@oregonian.com
503-294-4029
@lucashammill

 

San Francisco house-flipping startup considers Portland expansion | OregonLive.com

A San Francisco-based tech startup that pays cash for homes and then flips them for profit is considering expanding into Portland.

Source: San Francisco house-flipping startup considers Portland expansion | OregonLive.com

By Luke Hammill | The Oregonian/OregonLive

on March 15, 2016 at 5:00 AM, updated March 15, 2016 at 5:02 AM

Stay connected to The OregonianA San Francisco-based tech startup that pays cash for homes and then flips them for profit is considering expanding into Portland.

The company, OpenDoor Labs, already operates in Phoenix and Dallas, where it does a combined $25 million per month in transactions, said spokeswoman Erica Domm. Portland is among several cities that OpenDoor may target next, according to Domm.

“Before the end of the year, we’ll probably be in one more market,” Domm said.

The company’s co-founders include chief executive Eric Wu, who founded a data analytics company that the real estate website Trulia bought in 2011, and Keith Rabois, formerly a top official at PayPal. It has raised $110 million to date and has 63 employees, a chunk of them data scientists who use software to determine the price of a home, Domm said.

Michael Orr, a real estate expert at Arizona State University, analyzed property records and found that through the middle of December 2015, OpenDoor had bought and sold more than 200 homes, paying an average price of $230,000 and reselling them within 90 days for an average of $245,000, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal. It does not do extensive renovations, Domm said.

Domm said Portland is attractive to the company because of its healthy job market.

“The employment numbers are good,” Domm said. “We look at growth potential for the economy.”

OpenDoor’s “sweet spot,” she added, is homes worth between $100,000 and $500,000 and built after 1960.

The rise of OpenDoor coincides with a record-setting real estate market in Portland. Prices have risen sharply over the past year, and the inventory of available homes has hit historic lows.

Previous attempts to profit from the trend have sparked backlash. The organizers of a house-flipping seminar featuring the stars of the HGTV show “Flip or Flop” postponed events in Oregon and Washington after a flood of social media users objected.

Unlike tech startups like Uber, OpenDoor isn’t simply a marketplace that allows buyers and sellers to find each other. The company actually purchases the homes it sells. That leaves it vulnerable to an economic downturn, but it’s a bet company officials are comfortable with for now.

“We think Portland’s definitely up there in terms of places where our product makes sense for people,” Domm said.

— Luke Hammill
lhammill@oregonian.com

Portland’s tree-protection rules are helping to kill trees (OPINION) | OregonLive.com

Source: Portland’s tree-protection rules are helping to kill trees (OPINION) | OregonLive.com

By Vic Remmers

This past January, Oregon was named the most popular state to move to for the third year in a row. This comes as no surprise to Portlanders. For years, the city has been publicly grappling with managing an influx of new residents — and subsequent new homes — while maintaining Portland’s affordability and keeping its character intact.

One factor at this pivotal time for Portland’s urban development? Preserving the hundreds of trees that make up the city’s idyllic neighborhoods.

The reasonable solution does not involve climbing trees in protest. It also won’t be accomplished by preventing builder property purchases. But, most importantly, the solution is not the “tree tax” currently proposed by the city of Portland.

Before detailing this proposed tax further, it’s important for readers to understand the current process Portland builders face in deciding whether or not to save a tree on a piece of property. It may come as a surprise that most builders prefer to preserve existing trees on their purchased properties. They add to the sustainable footprint, increase the aesthetic curb appeal and lead to less overall landscaping.

However, due to the current process set by the city of Portland, saving trees on newly purchased properties is an exercise in futility. To keep a tree that is 30 inches in diameter on a piece of property, Portland builders must allow a “root protection” zone equal to one square foot per inch in diameter, meaning builders are unable to build or disturb the land within this 30 square foot area. In urban lots, this limiting rule is often the demise of most trees that are removed during the sight planning process. While this requirement serves to protect trees with wide root ecosystems, it fails to account for the many deciduous Oregon trees that root down, in a narrow and deep manner.

After pressure from Portland residents, the city is now taking another misstep in an effort to save trees by proposing a “tree tax.” The tax, which is currently up for vote with the city of Portland, would impose a $10,000 tariff to tree removals of 36 inches in diameter. Trees over 50 inches in diameter would incur a $15,000 fee. This proposed tree tax comes at a time when Portland home builders are facing an incredible challenge — keeping up with Oregon’s residential influx and housing demand, while also maintaining affordability and the city’s character.

Introducing a tree tax will not stop builders from cutting down trees. If the city does not resolve their broken process, builders will unfortunately have no choice but to continue removing trees, with the cost accredited to future homebuyers.

Goodbye housing affordability and Portland’s iconic character.

So how can we work together to save hundreds of Portland trees? The city of Portland needs to reexamine its rules on tree root protection zones by working with an arborist group to determine root system needs on a species-by-species basis as opposed to a one-size-fits-all rule.

This amendment will come up for vote in the next two weeks. To have your voice heard, please write to Commissioner Dan Saltzman. It’s a simple fix that can prevent inflated home prices while allowing builders to save the trees they so desperately would like to.

No magic wand

http://www.oregonbusiness.com/article/the-magazine/february-2016/item/16164-no-magic-wand

Years in the making, the affordable-housing crisis can’t be solved by developers alone.

Housing is the political issue du jour in Oregon. Essentially ignored for at least a decade, it’s now bubbled to the top of state priorities, right up there with fixing public schools and creating jobs in rural Oregon.

“Three years ago, it was jobs, jobs, jobs. Now it’s affordable housing, affordable housing, affordable housing,” says Tom Kemper, executive director of Housing Works, the housing authority for Central Oregon. “Bend is one of the worst markets, but it’s a crisis across the state.”

Housing experts say the state needs to ramp up the current pace of affordable dwelling construction simply to avoid losing ground. The question is: Who is going to build the thousands of new units cities are clamoring for? The state’s housing development community is more than willing to do so — under the right conditions. But without some basic changes to the state’s zoning laws, and new incentives that could shift the affordable-housing movement into high gear, most developers say they can’t include too many affordable units in their plans.

And even with such concessions and policy changes, it could be years before the state makes a dent in the gap between those who need an affordable home and the number available to them. “This is a very complicated problem,” says James Winkler, president of Winkler Development Corp. “You can’t just wave a magic wand and make it go away. We need to create thousands of affordable units at the base level, and support the people who live there with social services and educational opportunities. Very few understand how much certain policies that most of us support are responsible for the problem.”

Myriad factors have played a role in creating the huge gap between Oregonians who need affordable housing and the number of units available to them. In a recent speech, Tina Kotek, speaker of the Oregon House of Representatives, enumerated the convergence of factors that led to the crisis.

“A perfect storm put us here: Not enough new housing supply was built during the recession, and demand is up because of population growth and an influx of new residents,” she told the audience at the Oregon Leadership Summit in Portland in December. “It’s not as easy to buy a home now, either because of tighter lending requirements or too many people’s credit histories were ruined in the recession. So more people continue to rent — all of which is inhibiting mobility in the market. And then we have very low vacancy rates and wage stagnation. What is being built isn’t affordable workforce housing. This perfect storm has swept across the state — from Portland to Bend to Boardman.”

read more at link above…

Demolition Resources to the rescue – The Southeast Examiner of Portland Oregon

By Midge Pierce If a house on your block is slated for demolition, chances are you heard it first from The Portland Chronicle. The website is marking a year of providing comprehensive online inform…

Source: Demolition Resources to the rescue – The Southeast Examiner of Portland Oregon

Demolition Permit Map | The Portland Chronicle

2016 Demolition Permit Map Residential demolition permits issued since Jan. 1, 2016. Click on a marker to view the date of issuance.   2015 Demolition Permit Map  Residential demolition permits issued from Jan. 1, 2015 to Dec. 31, 2015. Click on a marker to view the date of issuance. This map does not include major alteration permits. See …

Source: Demolition Permit Map | The Portland Chronicle

Lawsuit claims real-estate agent tricked woman, 82, into signing off on home sale | OregonLive.com

Source: Lawsuit claims real-estate agent tricked woman, 82, into signing off on home sale | OregonLive.com

An 82-year-old woman has filed a lawsuit asking a jury to block the sale of her beloved Northeast Portland house, claiming a real-estate agent tricked her into signing papers to sell her home in one of the city’s hippest neighborhoods.

Josephine Gantt has lived in the 1922 Alberta Arts District bungalow for the past 47 years and had no immediate plans to move when, in fall 2014, she asked RE/MAX agent Erin Renwick about the value of her home, according to the lawsuit filed last week in Multnomah County Circuit Court. Gantt asked because she was curious and told Renwick repeatedly that she wasn’t ready to sell and had nowhere to go, the suit states.

Over the following year, the lawsuit states, Renwick befriended Gantt through repeated phone calls and gifts of flowers and pie, and continued to pressure her to list her home. The suit claims that Renwick then found an out-of-state buyer and got Gantt — who has poor eyesight — to sign a stack of papers agreeing to the sale.

“Mrs. Gantt had come to rely on Erin Renwick as a confidant and would share with her challenges she was having in her life,” the lawsuit states. “She trusted Erin Renwick and never imagined she would defraud her.”

Moments after learning she’d unwittingly signed papers to sell her home, Gantt begged Renwick to tear them up, the suit states, but Renwick refused. The real estate agent then left without leaving Gantt copies of the papers — and later that day the buyer Renwick had lined up signed the papers, the suit alleges.

Renwick, who works out of the RE/MAX office at 237 N.E. Broadway, declined to comment for this story. The suit also lists two other agents — Gary Horton and principal broker Rod Renwick — as defendants. They also declined to comment.

RE/MAX Equity Group also is listed as a defendant. In-house attorney Jeffrey Davis offered this statement: “There are legal and factual errors in the complaint filed on behalf of the plaintiff. We do not comment in detail about pending litigation, but we are confident that we will prevail after all of the facts in this case are brought to light.”

The three-bedroom, one-bathroom, 1,800-square-foot home is within walking distance of several Alberta Arts District hot spots, such as the Salt & Straw ice cream shop, Little Big Burger and several popular brunch locales. Gantt raised four children as a single mother in her home, the suit states. Despite her declining vision and arthritis, she has been able to live independently because of a first-floor bedroom and a carport that she can easily access from the side of her house, the suit states.

Agents typically charge 5 to 6 percent of the sale price as commission. According to the suit, Renwick represented both the buyer and Gantt. That means the $430,000 selling price would translate into a $21,000 to $26,000 commission for Renwick and RE/MAX.

Court records show that Erin Renwick — formerly Erin McMullen before a name change in 2013 — has had financial troubles in recent years. In 2009, a credit collection company sued her for $1,465 in unpaid debt, and that matter was settled after the company garnished Renwick’s wages through RE/MAX. In 2014, another credit collector sued for $1,855 in unpaid debt from a Nordstrom credit card. She reached a settlement with the collector in 2015.

The state agency that oversees the licenses of real-estate agencies — the Oregon Real Estate Agency — has issued no discipline against any of the three agents. Deputy commissioner Dean Owens said the agency’s rules don’t allow it, however, to say whether there are any pending investigations against agents.

Erin Renwick has been an agent in Oregon since 2012; Horton for 14 years and Rod Renwick for more than 30 years.

The suit claims that Erin Renwick and the other co-defendants committed elder abuse at a time when Gantt’s health was failing, she had stopped taking her medication and was depressed over the recent deaths of her sister and nephew.

The suit claims that in August 2015, Erin Renwick was “frantic” to represent Gantt, and even though Gantt didn’t want to sell her home she agreed to let Renwick represent her because she wanted relief from the sales pressure. The suit states that Gantt told Renwick she wanted a long selling period.

The suit claims that shortly after that, Erin Renwick deceived Gantt into signing the papers to sell her house to Scott Wirkus, a buyer from the Puget Sound area in Washington. The suit also lists Wirkus as a defendant — claiming that he hasn’t backed down from the sale even after learning of Gantt’s protestations. Wirkus couldn’t be reached for comment for this story.

Although the sale was supposed to close in October, Gantt has sought legal help, the suit states. She is still living in her house — but in fear that the buyer, will force her out. An arbitration hearing to “compel” her to move out is scheduled for next week, the suit states.

Gantt is being represented by the Oregon Law Center, which provides free legal services to low-income people, and Legal Aid Services of Oregon, which is a nonprofit that represents low-income clients.

Gantt’s suit asks for a jury to decide the ownership of her home. The suit also asks for $50,000 in economic damages and $100,000 in emotional distress — which under Oregon’s elder abuse law, can all be tripled to a total of $450,000.

Read the lawsuit here.

— Aimee Green

agreen@oregonian.com

503-294-5119