Editors’ note, Jan. 19, 2021: This story is factually correct. But the article and the headline are problematic because we failed to explain something vital: Why OPB reporters and editors considered this detail relevant enough to note in a news story. Read more: On the Red House story, we got one wrong.
As a protest over the eviction of a North Portland family enters its fourth day, OPB has learned the Kinney family owns a second home in the city.
The second home — located in Northeast Portland less than 2 miles from the house where protesters are camping — has been owned by the family since 1966, according to property records. OPB visited the home Friday morning and confirmed the family is currently living there.
The Kinneys’ son, Michael, answered the door at the second home and confirmed the family owned it, but he declined to answer questions, saying OPB would need to schedule an interview.
Property records show the home is owned by Pauline Kinney, who alongside her husband William TR Kinney, purchased both properties in the 50s and 60s. Pauline Kinney sold the red house to her daughter, Julie Kinney, in 1995 for $20,000. Julie Kinney’s sons have helped lead the legal fight and protest to keep the red house in Kinney family ownership.
The revelation adds another layer of complication to an already tense situation, which has seen protesters erecting reinforced street blockades around a home formerly owned by the Kinneys. The family and protesters supporting them have called for the so-called “Red House on Mississippi” to return to Kinney ownership.
That appeared more likely Thursday evening, as KGW first reported the developer who bought the red house was willing to sell the home back to the Kinneys at cost. A judge ordered the Kinneys evicted from the home in September after a yearslong court battle over the foreclosure.
As of Friday morning, a GoFundMe campaign had raised more than $280,000 for the Kinneys to buy back the red house. The amount appeared to be enough to buy back the home under a proposed, though not yet finalized deal.
Baruch Avrahamovich, who works as business community relations representative for the Slavic Community Center of Northwest, told OPB he spoke to the developer who owns the red house property.
“The new buyers just happened to be from the Slavic community,” Avrahamovich said. “Some of our spiritual leaders of our community are willing to organize a fundraiser … whatever (the Kinneys are) not going to reach, our community will put up.”
Avrahamovich said the developer was willing to sell the property for $260,000, plus $20,000 in property taxes that person has paid. OPB has not been able to reach the developer directly to discuss terms of the deal.
“When I talk to the spiritual leaders in our community, they all agree that we have to step in somehow financially,” Avrahamovich said. “The owners are not asking for a lot of money; they just want their money back, so it’s not a big deal to help.”
Whether the revelation of the Kinneys’ second home affects the deal or the position of protesters around the red house remains to be seen.
Also on Friday, Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt addressed the protest in a statement saying it highlighted the need to address “our housing crisis, economic inequalities, racial and social injustices, and to be mindful of the collateral consequences that the criminal legal system can have on destabilizing families and entire communities.”
Schmidt said there are significant safety concerns with the protests and that the barricades must come down, but he also credited the action with raising awareness of injustice.
“Many in our community would have never known about the plight of the Kinney family and the red house on Mississippi but for the neighbors and community members who have refused to stand by silently,” Schmidt said. “The shame is that it took this type of an intervention to bring so many together to want to remedy the situation.”
Schmidt said he is hopeful for a mutually beneficial deal between the Kinney family and the developer.