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Northwest HUDLines
December 2018
HUD e-Briefs from Alaska, Idaho, Oregon & Washington
Leland Jones, Editor, (206) 220-5356 or Leland.jones@hud.gov
www.hud.gov/alaska www.hud.gov/idaho
www.hud.gov/oregon www.hud.gov/washington


FHA reports to the Congress
The “financial health” of the Federal Housing Administration’s (FHA) single-family Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund is “sound,” says HUD Secretary Ben Carson in releasing the Fund’s 2018 Annual Report to the Congress which, prepared by an independent actuary, reported that the Fund “had a total Economic Net Worth of $34.8 billion” - up “over $8 billion” from the year before -- & “a Capital Reserve Ratio” of 2.76 percent “that remains above the statutory 2 percent “minimum for a fourth consecutive year.” FHA, the Secretary continued, “is in good hands, guarding against excessive risks, protecting the American taxpayer, and remaining true to our core mission to facilitate safe and affordable mortgage options for qualified borrowers.” The report found that, in 2018, first-time buyers accounted for 82.7 percent of the Fund’s forward mortgages while its average loan amount was $206,041. Minorities comprised 33.8 percent of the Fund’s 776,284 forward purchase loans. The actuary found that the Fund’s forward mortgage portfolio is growing, the value of the agency’s reverse mortgage portfolio continues to decline, representing a continuing economic drain on the Fund from books of business in 2018 and earlier. FHA “must continue to seek,” said Commissioner Brian Montgomery, “the right balance between facilitating access to mortgage credit & managing risk. Our number one mission is to make certain FHA remains a stable and reliable resource for first-time & minority homebuyers, & other underserved borrowers.”

FHFA increases “conforming” mortgage limits
The Federal Housing Finance Agency has announced that, for the third straight year, it was increasing the conforming mortgage limit for Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac in calendar 2019. That, in turn, is likely to result in an increase in the maximum mortgage limits FHA - the Federal Housing Administration - will insure in housing markets across the country. HUD expects to announce any limit changes for 2019 in December. In fiscal year 2018 that ended September 30th, FHA-insured 44,167acquisition mortgages on 1 to 4-family homes with a total dollar value of $11.1 billion and, as of November 1st, there were 294,116 FHA-insured mortgages valued at $59.7 billion in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington

Final rule on in FHLBs’ affordable housing programs published
On November 20th the Federal Housing Finance Agency published a final rule governing the way in which the nation’s network of 11 Federal Home Loan Banks allocate funds through their Affordable Housing Programs which fund partnerships between FHLB Des Moines member institutions &local housing providers to construct new & restore existing homes. The rule, the Agency says, “additional flexibility at the local level” for the banks “in consultation with their Advisory Councils, to allocate their AHP funds & to design their project selection scoring systems to address affordable housing needs in their districts” & makes “the program easier to use, both for the FHLB banks & award recipients, by reducing regulatory monitoring requirements that are redundant with other federal programs.” Since 1990 the Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines serves three Pacific territories & 13 states including Alaska, Idaho, Oregon & Washington.

KTUU-TV says Alaska Governor-elect Michael Dunleavy has named Julie Anderson as Commissioner of Commerce, Community & Economic Development...Confederated Tribes of the Siletz & NAYA Family Center break ground on Nesika Illahee -"Our Place" in Chinook k- that will provide 59 units of affordable housing for Siletz members on land in Portland, Oregon that once was a Chinook village...Spokane County, Washington landlords & non-profits serving low-income residents form Landlord Liaison Network to “increase affordable housing options & provide more support for participating landlords,” says Spokane Journal of Business...SourceWeekly reports that Oregon’s Department of Land Conservancy & Development picks Bend to be first HB4079 pilot to modify its Urban Growth Boundary to provide more affordable housing...Anchorage, Alaska Mayor Ethan Berkowithz, says Anchorage Daily News, proposes five percent tax on alcohol to pay for “homelessness & substance abuse services at a time of declining state support" says Anchorage Daily News...hanks to funding from Washington Department of Commerce & Washington State Housing Finance & Pacific County, Daily Astorian reports, ground is broken for 27 unit Driftwood Point affordable housing complex in Long Beach expected to be completed by year’s end 2019...Idaho Housing & Finance Association piloting use of modular to meet housing needs in remote, mountainous areas that, reports KBOI-TV, "have very high costs of living because of second-home owners who come in and buy properties...A partnership formed less than a year ago by the City of Salem, Oregon, Salem Housing Authority & private landlords inspired by Mayor Chuck Bennett, says KGW-TV, has been able to permanently house city's 100 most chronically homeless residents...Seattle, Washington City Council member Mike O’Brien urges colleagues to okay $300,000 to provide grants of up to $25,000 to cover half a homeowner's cost of putting-up backyard tiny home to temporarily house homeless reports KOMO-TV...Oregon Housing & Community Services & the Oregon Department of Veterans Affairs announce selection of Neighbor Impact & Central Oregon Veterans Outreach, Mid-Willamette Community Action Agencies, Yamhill Community Action Partnership, Oregon Coast Community Action, United Community Action Network, Community Action Partnership of Oregon, Community Services Consortium, Clackamas County Social Services & Lane County Human Services Commission as initial members of Operation Welcome Home under which they will receive technical assistance “receive technical assistance support “to house more veterans, in keeping with the Governor's priority to end veterans' homelessness” in the 23 counties they serve...USDA okays $4.8 million Community Facilities loan to enable Yakutat Tlingit Tribe to stop renting space & to build its own multi-purpose building to house all Tribal staff & Yakutat Borough’s only health clinic & t $742.600 loan to West Benton, WA Regional Fire District to purchase new demo& ladder truck to serve City of Prosser & environs.

More than a passing fancy?
In 2016 & 2017 voters in Portland, Oregon & Vancouver, Seattle, Olympia & Jefferson & King counties in Washington were asked to decide whether to hike or maintain taxes to support affordable housing. All but one of the measures passed. Affordable housing was also on the ballot in the 2018 elections. It fared well. Voters in Bellingham, Washington approved, says The Herald, extension of a property tax levy generating some $40 million to support housing first approved in 2012. In Clackamas, Multnomah & Washington Counties in Oregon, Metro News reports, okayed a property tax levy increase proposed by Metro, the region’s metropolitan government, that will generate $653 million for affordable housing & statewide voters passed, Oregon Public Broadcasting reported, a measure to amend the Oregon Constitution and make it easier for cities and counties to use their power to borrow money for affordable housing construction. Voters in San Juan County, Washington approved, says The Journal of the San Juan Islands, a .5 percent excise tax on the sale of real property in the County that will go into a Home Fund expected to help 400 families with affordable housing. For a summary of housing-related measures in other states, see Next City.

Do affordable housing funds deliver?
So, the voters have gone to the polls & passed, by a wide margin, a measure to hike their local taxes & dedicate the revenues to an affordable housing fund. Does it work? The Columbian takes a detailed look at what’s been accomplished & what hasn’t a year after Vancouver, Washington voters did exactly that.

Good for families, good for the rest of us
Families break apart for a lot of reasons. Sometimes, unfortunately, the challenges of putting them back together are insurmountable. Other times - when, for example, a family is separated & the kids are put in foster care because of a lack of housing - the solution is obvious. Which is why HUD has a Family Unification Program which allows housing authorities to work closely with public welfare agencies by providing rental vouchers to such families to put an affordable roof over their heads. Thanks to a Congressional appropriation, HUD’s just bolstered the program, awarding a total of an additional 117 Family Unification Vouchers to Home Forward, the housing authority serving Portland & Multnomah County, & Housing Works in Central Oregon & 196 additional vouchers to the Seattle, King County & Vancouver housing authorities. It’s “a big thing,” says Lucy Gonzalez, & good news for a lot of families who can reunite. It’s also good news for the rest of us since it’s a good investment of taxpayer funds. According to the National Center for Housing & Child Welfare it costs more than $48,00 year to keep the average separated family’s children in foster care. A housing subsidy with supportive services costs around $15,000 a year per family. A $20 million investment in the Family Unification Program, it estimates, saves about $134 million in foster care costs.

Portland, Oregon Housing Bureau launches $200,000 program to provide legal assistance to “historically underserved” renters in Multnomah County in response to annual fair housing audit conducted by Fair Housing Council of Oregon that reports in 1 out of 4 cases leasing agents had provided adverse differential treatment to prospective renters based on their race or national origin”...MacKenzie & .Jeff Bezos’ Day One Fund awards $12.5m to support, says Bezos, the "compassionate, needle-moving work to provide shelter for young families" served by JOIN in Portland, Oregon, Catholic Community Services in Tacoma & the Refugee Women’s Alliance in Seattle, Washington...A Way Home Washington selects Pierce, Spokane, Yakima & Walla Walla counties as first four of what’s expected to be an Anchor Community network of 12 to 15 jurisdictions statewide committed to ending youth homelessness by 2022...Seattle, Washington Mayor Jenny Durkan & . Plymouth Housing announces plans for 91 units of affordable housing for the homeless with a new performing arts space on City-owned parcel near Seattle Center says Queen Anne & Magnolia News...Alaska Department of Health & Social Services seeking bids to establish 10 “recovery residences” across the state for residents recovering from opioid abuse, says Alaska Public Radio...Tacoma, Washington City Council passes ordinance providing additional protection to renters at risk of eviction including 60 days for eviction & rent increase notices as well as relocation assistance & installment plans to pay move-in costs says KOMO-TV...City of Vancouver celebrates grand opening of first Navigation Center, Columbian reports,...Housing Works welcomes the first residents to its new Ochoco School Crossing in Prineville, Oregon a school built in 1947 that's been "re-purposed" into 29 affordable housing units says KBND...Olympia, Washington City Council , says The Olympian, unanimously approves new "infill housing" regs that will allow "more types of housing including duplexes, triplexes, fourplexes & courtyard apartments" in single-family neighborhoods...Portland Community Reinvestment Initiative celebrates grand opening on the opening of Beatrice Morrow Cannady Building, a mixed-use complex providing 80 units of affordable housing for residents displaced, reports The Skanner, by gentrification from North & Northeast Portland, Oregon...Saying it’s “the right thing for the City to do” reports The Mirror, City of Lake Chelan Council approves $100,000 to defray cost of new affordable housing development...Central City Concern celebrates the grand opening of 153-unit Hazel Heights fin Portland, Oregon or those ready to exit transitional housing says KXLI-FM.

Calling all Continuums!
HUD has set a January 31st deadline for local Continuums of Care serving the homeless to apply for funding to provide “capacity building” technical assistance in using HUD’s Homeless Management Information System, the on-line tool HUD uses to monitor the performance of Continuums in their use of the approximately $2 billion a year HUD awards to Continuums to support the efforts of the thousands of locally-designed & developed projects to prevent and end homelessness. Winning grants are expected to range from $20,000 to $400,000. The capacity-building is especially directed to activities that consolidate “MIS software or databases with another CoC’s HMIS; upgrading, customizing, or” configure “the functionality of a CoC’s existing HMIS; improving HMIS data quality or” increases “staff skills through trainings related to HMIS governance, data collection and data quality improvements, & data analysis to support strategic decision-making” as well as to support “HMIS Consolidations and encourages CoC recipients with a strong HMIS to partner with CoCs that have struggled to effectively implement their own HMIS.” HUD expects to competitively award $5 million in up to 50 grants.

Partners matter
Please forgive our immodesty, but HUD would be among the first to admit that the programs we operate & the funding we provide a lot of important, even essential services to millions of people in thousands of communities across the country. We could stop there, but it would be only a fraction of the truth. For any successes HUD enjoys ae almost certainly also due as much & sometimes even more to our partners & the partnerships we form. Partners like foundations & philanthropies, big & small, committed to a cause or constituency to which HUD is committed. Which is why since 2012, in collaboration with the Council on Foundations, we’ve annually conferred a HUD Secretary’s Award for Public-Philanthropic Partnerships to recognize “cross-sector partnerships between the philanthropic &public sectors. The goal is to recognize the partnership process &its impact as a community strategy to increase the quality of life for low- &moderate-income residents across all American geographies—urban, suburban, & rural” The list of honorees in prior years is impressive - the Rasmuson Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Oregon Community Foundation, the Raikes Foundation & the Seattle Foundation. And now we’re asking for your help, your nominations for a foundation with which you’ve worked to promote housing, community & economic develop that you think should be honored with a 2019 HUD Secretary’s Award for Public-Philanthropic Partnerships. If you’re reading this e-letter, we know you know the importance of foundations to your work & your community. So why not tell the world about it! The deadline to submit nominations is January 14th. We hope you’ll submit a nomination.

Addressing Oregon’s housing crisis
Director Margaret Salazar & her colleagues at Oregon Housing & Community Services want to hear from you. Following “months of community meetings” where they “heard heart-breaking stories from Oregonians struggling to find or keep safe, stable housing,”, she writes in a recent message, OHCS has published Breaking New Ground: the OHCS Statewide Housing Plan that will guide its approach to addressing the state’s affordable housing crisis over the next five years. Before it becomes final, they’d like your input , ideas & insights about the Plan at public hearings set for set for Eugene on December 10th, Redmond & Forest Grove on December 11th,& Newport on December 13th or by completing an on-line survey. If you have views to share, here’s your chance. Don’t be shy.

Everett, Washington Housing Authority awarded 44 & Idaho Housing & Finance Association awarded 8 Tenant Protection Vouchers to help assisted residents facing dislocation as a result of demolition or disposition of HUD-assisted housing continue to have access to affordable housing...Ashland, Oregon Council gives city staff “green light,” says Daily Tidings, to “work out details of a program to let people sleep in their vehicles in designated parking spots outside churches or other organizations without fear of being cited”…With a with 10-fold increase over last year of tents sheltering the homeless in downtown City of Olympia, Washington decides to "pause," reports KING5-TV, “encampment clean-ups" & is considering creation of "mitigation" site with services on city-owned lot...Bend Bulletin says city’s park district is considering district in Central Oregon giving consideration to "waiving or reducing system development charges" on newly-built houses "for developers building affordable housing"...The Citizen says thanks Idaho CDBG City of Weston, Idaho is able to build new water tank to serve its 183 residents...First Congregational Church of Bellingham, Washington spends $1 million to transform its basement into The Ground Floor, a day center where young people 24 and younger, says Bellingham Herald, can “get out of the weather, do laundry, show, cook meals, used computers store their stuff, pick up mail & access services” coordinated by Northwest Youth Services...Terry Reilly Health Services proposes a 4-story building to be called Cleveland Square in downtown Caldwell, Idaho with a health clinic on the ground floor & 50 units targeted to the elderly on the other three for s reports Idaho Press...With estimated .30 percent of its 2,200+ households "cost-burdened" & 100 residents homeless last year the City of Madras, Oregon publishes draft of first update of its 20-year plan of how to address lack of affordable housing says KTVZ-TV...Cook Inlet Housing & Key Bank unveils plans for 38 units of affordable housing in downtown Anchorage, Alaska residents with, says Affordable Housing Finance magazine, "sensory & mobility impediments...Plymouth Housing & City of Seattle,break ground for 102 more units of permanently, affordable housing for long-term homeless, part of city's efforts to build 2,500 affordable rental nits by 2021...Innovative Housing Inc. of Portland, Oregon buys historic Waldorf Hotel in downtown Astoria that it plans to convert into 40 units of affordable workforce housing says Daily Astorian...After year-long moratorium, says The Oregonian, it appears The White House is, at the urging of the Warm Springs, Yakama, Umatilla & New Peace Tribes set to "fulfill an 80-year-old promise,” reports The Oregonian, to build "on a plan to build a villa for tribal members who fished the Columbia River for millennia” but whose villages were flooded with construction of the Bonneville Dam.

Going RAD-ical to preserve public housing
“In September, we broke ground on the 100,000th public housing unit preserved through our Rental Assistance Demonstration program, also known as RAD” - HUD’s Rental Assistance Demonstration initiative. “This public-private partnership, which many of you are familiar with, has generated close to $6 billion in construction investment and over 108,000 jobs. If not for RAD, HUD estimates it would have taken 46 years to accumulate enough public capital to achieve these same goals. RAD continues to be a tremendous preservation tool for our existing housing stock.” - HUD Secretary Ben Carson at The White House Roundtable on Housing Affordability, November 16th.

Housing Assistance Council reports that some 274 rural counties in U.S. “have only one or no banks or only asset banks.”

Why Chris Carson runs
“I just remember this moment where we were outside, and my mom was on the curb and she was crying, and we just had to look at our house while it burned down. So that’s something that’s always played over and over in my head. I told my mom, ‘If I can, I’m going to get you a new house. I’m going to try to make a better world for us.’ ” - Seattle Seahawks running back Chris Carson on why he runs so hard & why he’s keeping that promise not just to his family, but to others who are homeless. The Seattle Times, November 7th, 2018

Theory & practice in homebuilding
"Students need to be good problem solvers. Every day we work out here with an idealistic set of plans, with the way things are supposed to be, but we get out here in the mud and dirt and things just aren't how they're drawn...we have to fix (problems) and make plans come to reality" - Justin Fantasia, an assistant professor at the University of Alaska’s Southeast Alaska College in Juneau, explaining one of the benefits of its House Build “real world experience” program, KTVA-TV, November 7th, 2018

The unique challenges of housing in rural Alaska
“There needs to be a lot more of specific focus on how we define homelessness in rural Alaska to make sure that we’re not missing an issue that falls through the cracks because it’s not the traditional homelessness that, say, the US government would define as homelessness.” - Bryan Butcher, CEO of Alaska Housing Finance Corporation before the Alaska Municipal League, KTOO-FM, November 17th

LOW-INCOME RENTERS FACE EVICTION, EVEN HOMELESSNESS. Maybe you’ve seen a headline like that in your newspaper or on TV. Especially live in a “hot” rental market where rents are rising faster than a jack rabbit on steroids. Usually it’s because the owner or landlord wants to upgrade the property & attract renters who can pay a higher rent. That’s not the story with privately-owned, HUD-assisted and insured apartment building that pay-off their mortgage & “goes to market” or when a housing authority decides to sell-off & replace dilapidated instance. In both instances, the plans can proceed, but all of the residents living in HUD-subsidized units affected by the plans are given rental vouchers that enable them to go out & find a new affordable housing unit to call home. Confused? Well, earlier we mentioned that we mentioned HUD’s just awarded 44 Tenant Protection Vouchers for residents of the Authority’s Baker Heights public housing it wants to demolish. The Tenant Protection Voucher Program is a petty obscure part of what does. But a recent Everett Herald story does an excellent job of explaining how they help the owner upgrade their housing but preserves the tenants’ access to affordable housing - sort of a win-win, if you will. The article’s worth a read.

HUD’s Office of Native American Programs issues revised guidance on Imminent Threat Grants available under the Indian Community Development Block Grant...HUD releases study on Participation in First-Time Homebuyer Education & Housing Counseling examining “effectiveness of first-time homebuyer education” for low-income homebuyers...Washington Department of Commerce’s Community Economic Revitalization Board raises per-project funding limits to $3 million for core construction, $2 million for rural broadband projects...Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection &Federal Housing Finance Agency go on-line w/ data-set from National Survey of Mortgage Originations  that will permit the general public, mortgage industry & researchers in understanding consumer behavior & borrowers’ experiences obtaining a mortgage...Latest issue of HUD’s Cityscape features symposium on youth homelessness...HUD User publishes case study on Resident-Directed Supportive Services and Accessible Housing for the Severely Disabled & Seniors at QUAD’s Station 162 Apartments in Gresham, Oregon...HUD releases Market-at-a-Glance analyses for Boise City as well as Ada & Canyon counties in Idaho, Salem in Oregon & Clark County in Washington...FHA issues mortgagee letter 2018-10 to answer when, where & how it's appropriate to maintain guest suites in a multifamily rental or cooperative property with an FHA-insured mortgage...REALTOR.COM forecasts 2 percent fall in existing home sales in 2019, but a 2.2 percent increase in median price of existing homes with a median price increase in Boise, Idaho projected at price of 6.9 percent, 5 percent in Portland-Vancouver metro & 3.8 percent in both Seattle-Tacoma & Spokane metros...With an estimated 35 percent of Americans living on Tribal lands unable to get broadband service, the Government Account ability Office issues recommendations on how Federal Communications Commission can help Tribes increase broadband access.

framework to transform or modernize the regulations that implement the Community Reinvestment Act”...Alaska Department of Commerce, Community & Economic Development sets December 7th deadline for incorporated cities or boroughs to apply for CDBG grants of up to $850,000 for community development projects benefitting low & moderate income individuals...HUD sets December 10th for teams from accredited U.S. educational institutions to register for 2019 Innovations in Affordable Housing design competition...HUD sets December 19th deadline to apply separately for up to20 Private Enforcement grants of up to $300,000 each. For up to 56 Fair Housing Education & Outreach grants of at least $125,000 each & for two Organization Initiative grants of up to $250,000 each...Oregon Housing & Community Services sets December 10th deadline to submit comments on its published Breaking New Ground: the OHCS Statewide Housing Plan...HUD sets January 7th deadline for Federally-recognized Tribes & Native American organizations to apply for total of $65 million in Indian Community Development Block Grant Funds...HUD sets January 11th deadline for housing authorities that administer 1,000 or fewer Housing Choice vouchers & public housing units combined to submit a letter-of-interest application package if interested in being one of 30 authorities in Cohort 1 of its Moving-to-Work expansion program...HUD sets January 14th deadline to submit nominations for HUD Secretary’s Award for Public-Philanthropic Partnerships...FEMA sets January 31st, 2019 deadline for state, local & Tribal governments to apply for total of $235.2 million in Pre-Disaster Mitigation Funds...HUD sets January 31st deadline for Continuums of Care to apply for HMIS “capacity building” technical assistance grants...USDA’s Rural Utilities Service sets September 30th, 2019 deadline for nonprofits, Tribes & state & local governments to apply for Rural Broadband Access Loans of between $100,000 & $25 million that will be awarded on a rolling, first-come-first-serve basis.

City of Boise hosts Community Conversation on its proposed housing plan, December 1st, Boise, Idaho. Visit

Native American Housing Conference & HUD’s Northwest Office of Native American Programs host Grantwriting Workshop for Tribal organizations, December 4th & 5th, Suquamish, Washington. Visit

Association of Alaska Housing Authorities & HUD’s Alaska Office of Native American Programs host Tribal Council Workshop, December 4th to 6th, Nome, Alaska. Visit

Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco hosts Webinar on Investment Without Displacement: Solutions for Equitable, Healthy, Vibrant Communities, December 4th, on-line. Visit

Oregon Chapter of American Planning Association hosts Legal Issues Symposium, December 7th, Portland, Oregon. Visit

Greenhome Solutions & Small Planet Simply host Green Building Slam, December 7th, Bellingham, Washington. Visit

Oregon Housing & Community Services hosts public hearing on its draft Breaking New Ground: the OHCS Statewide Housing Plan, December 10th, Eugene, Oregon. Visit

Association of Alaska Housing Authorities & HUD’s Alaska Office of Native American Programs host Project Implementation Workshop, December 10th to 12th, Anchorage, Alaska. Visit

National American Indian Housing Council hosts 2018 Legal Symposium, December 10th to 12th, Las Vegas, Nevada. Visit

Oregon Housing & Community Services hosts public hearing on its draft Breaking New Ground: the OHCS Statewide Housing Plan, December 11th, Redmond, Oregon. Visit

Oregon Housing & Community Services hosts public hearing on its draft Breaking New Ground: the OHCS Statewide Housing Plan, December 11th, Forest Grove, Oregon. Visit

Oregon Housing & Community Services hosts public hearing on its draft Breaking New Ground: the OHCS Statewide Housing Plan, December 11th, Newport, Oregon. Visit

Washington Landlord Association & Institute of Real Estate Management’s Western Washington Chapter host 2018 TRENDS Rental Housing Management Conference and Trade Show, December 14th, , Washington. Visit

HUD’s Office of Lead Hazard Control & Healthy Homes hosts 2019 Grant Program Overview, December 18th, on-line. Visit

Washington State Housing Finance Commission hosts Tax Credit Fundamentals Workshop, January 8th, Seattle, Washington. Visit

HUD hosts conversation on Assisted Housing, Employment & Self-Sufficiency with representatives from Urban Institute, Seattle Jobs Project, Chicago Housing Authority & HUD, January 17, in-person at HUD Headquarters & via Webinar . Visit

The asset management division of HUD’s Multifamily Housing Hub in San Francisco hosts semi-annual Industry Conference, January 17th, San Francisco, California. Visit

Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians host annual convention, January 28th to 31st, Portland, Oregon. Visit

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