Portland, OR has long been known for keeping things weird. History has shown that sentiment to even be adopted as an unofficial motto for the city, with eccentricity seemingly becoming the lifeblood that keeps the bustling metropolis ticking. In April, a set of unique houses with even more unique names will go up for auction. These houses, long neglected by society and left barren by the gentrification of North East Portland, are dwellings that can be purchased with the settlement of the liens that have inevitably been put on them. These dwellings are called “zombie houses”, and they are about to rise again.
Despite the entertaining label, zombie houses are far from the thrill ride that TV and movies would have one believe. The reality is far more depressing, far more likely to suck the soul out of a formerly optimistic individual. These zombie homes are simply unmanned ships, without owners and without anyone to perform even the most basic of upkeep. When left unoccupied for a long enough time, these shells of former homes can turn into hotbeds of crime and delinquency. Neighborhoods that contain such houses frequently clock in complaint after complaint to the Portland Police, creating a reputation that precedes the neighborhood in a decidedly negative way.
This auction is the first step to eliminating the presence of ghost houses altogether. While this is widely recognized as a risky and momentous task, the City of Portland remains confident that a continued run of seizures and auctions will ensure that every house goes to a competent home-buyer. To the highest bidder will go the spoils of a cheap house in a comfy, North East neighborhood. Bidding is expected to be a heated and rapid-fire affair, so wits are necessary.