Incidents of gang violence dropped slightly in June from the previous month, helping to keep the total investigated by the Gang Enforcement Team below last year's pace.
According to the newest statistics, GET investigated 12 incidents in June, down two from the 14 investigated in May. By the end of last month, the Portland Police Bureau team had investigated 55 incidents of gang violence, well below the 79 investigated by the end of June 2016.
The 2017 total also is well below the 81 investigated by the end of June 2015, the year that set the official record for gang incidents with a total of 193 investigations. The number dropped to 159 in 2016 and is still on track to drop again this year.
Affordable housing bond group meets
The Portland Affordable Housing Bond Oversight Committee held its first meeting Thursday. The five-member committee is charged with ensuring the $258.4 million bond is spent according to the framework currently being developed by a 21-member Stakeholder Advisory Group.
Committee members were told a draft version of the framework should be released for public comment by mid-August and then be approved by the City Council in October. Framework elements being considered include a commitment to equity and construction opportunities for women-owned and emerging small businesses.
The goal is for the Portland Housing Bureau to begin submitting projects for council approval in November, one year after the bond was approved. It was designed to preserve or build 1,300 units of affordable housing, but the exact mix of projects has not yet been determined.
Anti-hate crime grants available
Following a recent increase in racist incidents, the Office of Neighborhood Involvement began accepting grant applications from community groups to track and respond to hate crimes. The City Council included $350,000 for the first-time grant program in the new budget that took effect July 1.
The grants are available to community groups and will be distributed through the ONI-sponsored Portland United Against Hate coalition. Applicants must explain how they will accept complaints, support victims, and compile hate crime data.
The deadline for applying is 5 p.m. Aug. 15. More information can be found at: