Homelessness Proposal Unveiled: A task force that was formed by the Oregon Mayor’s Association to address the homelessness crisis in the state has asked the state legislature to allocate more than 120 million dollars in direct, annual funding for cities to address the issue. This request was made to address the crisis in the state.
During a meeting that took place on Monday of this week, members of the task force, including mayors, explained that the money will be put to the most productive use by local governments that had been lacking consistent financing to address the issue.
They mentioned that in addition to that, they would be recommending a one-time grant to cities for initiatives involving capital improvements; however, they did not provide any other information regarding this proposition at this time.
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The proposed annual amount of $120 million would provide $40 per inhabitant to each incorporated city in Oregon, with a minimum distribution of $50,000 for each municipality in the state.
After that point, it would be up to the local leaders to decide how best to spend the cash to either avoid or ease the crisis of homelessness that is now occurring in their area.
According to the statements made by the mayors, the strategy would make it possible to respond in a flexible manner to a problem that exists across the entire state but manifests itself in a variety of forms.
Up until this moment, cities have been mostly left to fend for themselves on their own.
At the beginning of this year, the American Rescue Plan Act gave an infusion of cash that helped build some infrastructure to address the problem in larger areas. This infrastructure has benefited a lot of people. Aside from that, though, cities have been required to cobble together funds from a variety of sources, including grants and their own constrained budgets.
The mayors pointed out that due to this dynamic, cities’ capabilities to respond to a dynamic crisis are limited. When it comes to securing funds, this also places smaller communities that have less obvious housing problems at a disadvantage than larger municipalities.
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The idea would provide flexibility for communities to adopt solutions that are appropriate for their circumstances by giving cash on an annual basis to be used at the discretion of each city.
The leaders of larger communities might prioritize the construction of homeless shelters and other significant service facilities, while the leaders of smaller municipalities might put the money toward increasing the availability of affordable housing and taking other steps to reduce homelessness.
Since it was established in May of this year, the task force has already delivered its recommendations to the state representatives and senators, as well as to all three candidates for governor.
When questioned, the mayors stated that Tina Kotek had responded positively to the proposition, but they emphasized that they hoped any incoming governor would be receptive to it. This is due to the fact that all of the candidates have placed a strong emphasis on the matter throughout their campaigns.
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