There may be hope for the 90-plus residents at the Joyce Hotel—one of the last havens where Portland's most vulnerable renters can count on a low-cost place to sleep—who were given their walking papers and have until March 30 to vacate.
Multnomah County Communications Director David Austin says local agencies are working to find a solution for the folks who would otherwise likely be homeless come April 1.
"The county and city are working with A Home for Everyone and other nonprofits to engage with everyone who's being evicted at the end of March to try and ensure they can make a smooth transition into housing," Austin says. "We're also working with the Department of County Human Services and to do more than just a roof over their heads. We want to see if we can connect them with other available services."
Two weeks ago, the Mercury first reported that Precision Property Management Corp. (PPM) on Dec. 31 posted a building-wide eviction notice, giving the residents of the 69-room building their 90-day notice. The notice indicated the property owner, listed as Dan Zilka, owner of DZ Real Estate, was selling the building despite PPM's attempts to negotiate a deal that would allow the residents to stay.
Any tenant receiving a no-cause eviction notice in Portland's ongoing housing emergency is at risk of being unable to find a new home, but those living at the Joyce are particularly vulnerable: The Joyce is cheap, doesn't check tenants' rental or criminal history, and is well-known among social service agencies as being "low barrier" for those who likely wouldn't be accepted elsewhere.
"We are in solution mode trying to find ways to protect this vulnerable population," Austin says. "The good news is that it's only February 10. We don't want to wait until the end of March, but we have time to find the best solution, and that includes engaging with the tenants to see what they most need."