This summer, code provisions that increased oversight of the demolition process in the City of Portland were implemented. The HBA fully supports code requirements for asbestos testing and abatement in a process which does not add unnecessary timing and burdens in the demolition process. Under the code revisions, any friable and/or non-friable asbestos must be fully abated before applying for a demolition permit. This means that before the mandatory 35 day demo delay window can start, a property owner may be subject to a full asbestos abatement. Past demolition code revisions have added measures such as wetting of debris and stopping work at high mileage winds, which protect neighbors and the community at large. The HBA applauds such positive revisions. However, implications to the most recent change in the code requirement are significant. The code now requires that any friable and/or non-firable asbestos must be abated before applying for a demolition permit. Before the mandatory 35 – 60 day demo delay window can start, a property owner wishing to demolish a 200+ sq ft structure must hire an asbestos company to test all interior and exterior layers of the home. If the results test positive, a full abatement of the asbestos must be completed before applying for a demolition permit. Indeed some HBA members have already seen the consequences of the new demo requirement: developers’ and builders’ holding costs rise, tenants and landlords are forced into a lose-lose situation with rental income down and tenant displacement up. Asbestos companies highly prefer and in some instances cannot do their work with people living in the home, creating challenges for homeowners as well. The HBA seeks to allow asbestos testing and abatement during the 35-60 day demo delay, actions that would remain—as they were prior—as conditions of the finalized demo permit. If you have experience with the effects of demolition delay that you would like conveyed to the City of Portland on your behalf, please contact Roseannj@hbapdx.org.