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ENB-18.41 - Administrative Waiver

Administrative Rule Adopted by Office of Neighborhood Involvement
ARB-ENB-18.41

 
Category: Neighborhood Inspections
 
Effective Date: April 27, 2004
 
Responsible Bureau Section:
Neighborhood Inspections
111 SW Columbia St, Suite 670
Portland Oregon 97201
503-823-7906
 
 
BACKGROUND:
Title 29 of the Portland City Code is known as the Property Maintenance Code.  Among other things, this code sets minimum standards for maintaining residential properties within the City of Portland.  This code also includes provisions for citing both nuisance and housing maintenance violations. To gain compliance with this code, Title 29 allows for the charging of Code Enforcement Fines on properties that fail to comply with the cited regulations in a timely manner.  To prevent accumulating fines from causing undue hardship and/or when extenuation circumstances may impede timely code correction, Section 29.60.100 authorizes the Director of the Office of Neighborhood Involvement (ONI) to adopt exceptions.  This waiver is one of the exceptions that have been adopted.  A waiver policy defines the criteria and time frame for suspending Code Enforcement Fines.  It also identifies conditions under which a waiver exception will be cancelled and fines re-instated.
 
PURPOSE:
The purpose of the Administrative Waiver is to assist property owners who are unable to do the required work due to hardship or extenuating circumstances, such as physical and financial hardship for senior and disabled citizens, by suspending monthly Code Enforcement Fines.
 
APPLICATION:
A waiver application filled out by the property owner, or referral from a Housing Inspector.
 
FEE:
There is no application fee for an Administrative Waiver.
 
APPEAL:
If the property owner wishes to appeal the denial of a waiver they must request the appeal within fifteen (15) days of the written denial.  The appeal must be made in writing and submitted to Neighborhood Inspections, 111 SW Columbia St, Suite 670, PortlandOR97201.  The property owner will have the opportunity to present additional information during this appeal.  A written determination will be mailed to the owner.  This determination can be appealed to the Code Hearings Office within ten (10) business days of its issuance.
 
POLICY:
ONI will grant the waiver, upon approval by an internal committee of senior staff members, from the date it is established hardship prevented the owner from bringing the property into compliance with Title 29.  It will allow for suspension of Code Enforcement Fines if the property owner meets all the requirements listed below.  The waiver is not granted automatically.  It is necessary to meet all the requirements.  Upon approval of the completed waiver application monthly Code Enforcement Fines will be suspended beginning with the first billing cycle following the date ONI receives the completed waiver application.  The waiver is renewable for a one (1) year period, if the owner qualifies.
 
A.        Requirements to Qualify for an Administrative Waiver
Following are the requirements to qualify for the Administrative Waiver:
1. Property owner is physically unable to do the work required to close the housing case (explanation and documentation required);
 
2. There is no one living at the property that is physically able to do the work;
 
3. The property is clear of any other code violations administered by Neighborhood Inspections (Nuisance, Disabled Vehicles, Additional Housing violations, Re-occupancy prior to approval);
 
4. The housing case is currently open;
 
5. The owner may have low income and is unable to hire someone to complete the work.  Income does not exceed 80% of the adjusted household median income for the Portland area (as determined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development);
 
6. Documentation of the property owners income, including copies of the most recent Federal Income Tax Return, a Statement of Benefits from the Social Security Administration or other official income documentation must be provided with the completed waiver application.
B.        General Information
1. Upon approval of an Administrative Waiver, monthly Code Enforcement Fines will be suspended up to 12 months beginning with the first billing cycle after it is determined inhibiting hardship exists;
 
2. The Administrative Waiver is granted to qualified property owners for up to one-year with a possible annual renewel;
 
3. Administrative Waivers are not are not transferable.  
C. Waiver Renewal Process
Reminder letters for Administrative Waiver renewals are mailed to property owners at least one month prior to the expiration of the waiver.
1. To be granted a renewal of this waiver:
 a.   updated information is required  prior to the extension of the waiver being granted, and
 
b. the updated information must be returned to ONI prior to the end of  the waiver period, and;
3. If documentation of total household income is required, copies of the most recent Federal Income Tax Return, a Statement of Benefits from the Social Security Administration or other official income documentation must be provided for all adults using the property as their primary residence;
 
4. Documentation of the medical or physical hardship that inhibits the owner from making the necessary repairs in a timely manner;
 
5. An internal committee of senior staff members may consider whether the property owner has made sufficient progress in correcting the violations or has met with the housing inspector to determine an appropriate course of action regarding the violations.
D.  Waiver Cancellation Policy
Administrative Waivers will be cancelled if any of the conditions listed below occur during the waiver period.
1. New/additional violations of any code administered by ONI are cited at the property after the date the waiver approval letter was mailed to the property owner, but outside of a 30 day period; for example, the property is posted for a nuisance and housing maintenance conditions worsen;
 
2. If the property is cited for nuisance conditions under Title 29 Nuisance Code, the owner has 15 days to correct the violations.  If the violations are not corrected, resulting in abatement by City Contractors, the waiver may be cancelled.
 
3. Ownership of the property changes.
 
4. Work is being done at the property without the required permits;
 
5. If an owner has not reapplied by the expiration date of the waiver, the waiver may be cancelled and fines imposed.
NOTE: If the waiver is cancelled for any of the above reasons, it cannot be re-activated until the issue is resolved and approved by the housing inspector or internal committee of senior staff members.
                                                   
If this waiver is cancelled, a cancellation letter will be mailed to the owner of the property and monthly Code Enforcement Fines will start with the next billing cycle after the cancellation.

HISTORY
Effective April 27, 2004
Filed for inclusion in PPD September 30, 2004.
Revised and filed in PPD November 16, 2004.
Revised June 7, 2006 and filed in PPD June 16, 2006.