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There are some problems with obtaining subsidized housing

To the Editor:

I am a high school student and for one of my classes I am dealing with the problem of homelessness and subsidized housing. Recently a few of my classmates and I met with a homeless family from Portland and told them we would do everything in our power to find them a home.

It was interesting to us to find out that this family didn't even want to deal with the process that one must go through in order to obtain subsidized housing. Yet, later we realized that we couldn't blame this family because the process of obtaining subsidized housing is so obscure. We tried to call many different affordable housing locations and each location manager gave us the same reply by saying, 'just look on the Web, all the information is there.'

This seems almost unjust because the odds are that if a person is homeless or looking for subsidized housing that they are not going to have access to the Internet. And if by chance they do have access to the Internet, the housing and urban development Web site is not user friendly enough for the average person to understand.

At least during the holidays we need to be thinking about the people going to bed without a roof over their heads. There needs to be some serious reforms in the process of obtaining affordable housing because the people looking for affordable housing are having problems in dealing with the way that the bureaucratic system is set up.

The city of Portland needs to work more closely with housing and urban development in order to make the process of obtaining a subsidized home easier.

Bijan Behboodi

Lake Oswego

S.W. Firwood seems to be neglected in the city

To the Editor:

In my 20-plus years in Lake Oswego, never have I seen a street so neglected as S.W. Firwood is.

It is unfathomable why a city street would be allowed to deteriorate to the point to where it is virtually impassable.

Those responsible must be held accountable and required to make proper repairs.

Alan Elstad

Lake Oswego

'You are missing three

important p's'

Perhaps if Jeff Parker, the building contractor who is at odds with the city regarding code violations at the lakeside property site of his new home, had remembered that 'preplanning prevents poor performances' he would be at least $28,000 richer today!

Should a man buy a suit before he knows it can be altered to fit him? Should you purchase property that you know will require variances to existing codes before knowing they are obtainable?

'Predictably Possible?'

You are missing three important p's.

Chad Metzger

Lake Oswego

Oakridge Park would serve our seniors well

Editor's note: The following is an open letter to Lake Oswego residents:

It is a time of year for reflections upon past, present and future. As we work toward that aim nearing the beginning of 2008, we might do well to consider the important Oakridge Park for our citizens who need this addition to our city.

As I learn more about the good works of the non-profit Northwest Housing Alternative together with the efforts of Lake Grove Presbyterian Church, I see the goals of leaders who desire to improve the lot of our seniors who need our support. Both these organizations have obtained nearly $5 million dollars in Housing and Urban Development funds to aid those seniors who struggle to live in our community on an income less than $25,000 per year. This is in a time when acquiring federal funds is nearly impossible.

As we think through the addition of Oakridge Park to our city, we might let our imaginations sort through the choices that must be made with the income of these seniors. It is a fact that in this season we in the United States spend four and half billion dollars on holiday celebrations. As the council considers the Oakridge Park development, hearing the objections of those who think the parking is inadequate for the number of seniors who will be living there, it is hard to imagine that these seniors will own cars much less be participating in this kind of holiday spending.

I would encourage all who reflect upon these comments to encourage our council members to consider the future of those seniors who have perhaps played a role in making our city what it is today. These seniors may be priced out of the city they helped build if we fail to embrace a generosity of spirit in this December season.

Bettirae Willis

Lake Oswego

More B basketball teams are needed

To the Editor:

My son plays basketball for a youth B team in Forest Grove.

We have gone to two tournaments and 85 percent of the teams we face are A teams. Our district has an A and B team, but most districts only have an A team.

With the lack of B teams we have to play A teams. It merely becomes a lay-up drill for the other team and we are typically beaten by 30 to 50 points.

Inner city schools neighboring Beaverton have many kids try out and only 12 kids make it. For the rest, it's too bad tough - no B team.

Some, again some, are teams of robots that are programmed for superiority and trophies. I want to encourage other districts to create more B teams.

Shannon O'Brien

Forest Grove