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Jul-17-2006 15:27printcomments

Thatcher Launches Effort to Combat Meth in Neighborhoods

Thatcher's plans could allow the community to reclaim many of the homes damaged by meth production.

Keizer meth house that was restored by Salem area realtors
Keizer meth house that was restored by Salem area realtors
Photo courtesy: Kim Thatcher

(SALEM) - “We need to encourage, not discourage community groups who want to help in the fight against meth,” said State Representative Kim Thatcher (R-Keizer) as she announced new legislation to assist community groups trying to rehabilitate homes ruined by methamphetamine labs.

After a Legislative Committee met with realtors today, Thatcher asked industry experts about the problems associated with cleaning up and reselling houses formerly occupied by meth cooks. Last year, Thatcher toured a home in Keizer which was purchased and then renovated by the Salem Association of Realtors.

Real estate agents Lisa and Pete Zielinski assisted with the project. “I appreciate Representative Thatcher’s interest in programs like this and her willingness to open doors to make this more feasible for other organizations,” said Lisa Zielinski.

She is working on a bill for the 2007 Legislative Session which would change current contracting laws making it easier for groups such as the Salem Realtors to work on these meth homes. Thatcher explained, “I also want to give potential buyers a visual record of these meth houses after they’re shut down by law enforcement instead of buying them practically site unseen.”

This could be accomplished with video tape or still photos from hazardous materials personnel.

Keizer's restored meth house

Jana Jarvis, Vice President of Public Policy for the Oregon Association of Realtors, pointed out, “the intent of the bill is to facilitate buying and rehabbing these properties in order to not only provide affordable housing but to retain a strong sense of community where meth houses have been a blight on the neighborhood.”

She added, “bonding requirements and the inability to view these properties put barriers in place for organizations who may be interested in refurbishing these blighted properties and currently make it close to impossible to accomplish these goals.”

Thatcher serves on the Joint Interim Task Force on Real Estate Agency Oversight. The State Real Estate Agency will play a role in this new legislation. As a member of the House Judiciary Committee Thatcher helped draft Oregon’s new tough on meth legislative package which increased penalties for meth dealers and restricted the supply of meth ingredients.




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