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Mayor Hales tours 'zombie homes' in Southeast Portland

Portland Mayor Charlie Hales toured several zombie homes Friday, June 10 (KATU News photo)

Portland Mayor Charlie Hales has announced several steps the city is taking to get rid of more than 400 vacant and abandoned houses, which are coined "zombie homes."

Hales, along with other city leaders, toured a few of the homes in Southeast Portland Friday.

He said these homes are often becoming targets for squatters, drug users and even prostitution.

"Nobody should have to live next to this - it's appalling," he said. "I'm here because we're finally getting the city's machinery working to deal with the houses and get them foreclosed and back out into the hands of responsible property owners."

Hales said it has been 50 years since the city foreclosed on a home. There are now five houses proposed to be foreclosed on the city council calendar for next week's meeting. Hales said this will continue on a monthly basis until the zombie homes are gone.

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