Governor Tina Kotek signed into law the state’s Affordable Housing and Emergency Homelessness Response Package On Wednesday, 29 March 2023, which will provide $200 million to help with the homeless crisis.
Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley also got $50 million from the federal government to help with housing services in Oregon.
Senator Merkley has held 19 town halls so far this year. Housing is one of the most important issues for his constituents.
“Quite frankly, housing comes up as a top concern,” said Merkley. “Top concern for county commissioners, city counselors, the citizens, just the high cost of rent – that is very devastating to peoples’ budgets, the kind of receding dream of homeownership which can stabilize families, and certainly the challenge of so many people living on the street as a result of the finances, as a result of drug addiction, the result of mental illness. We have to tackle this from every angle.”
The Department of Housing and Urban Development will provide $50 million to nonprofits and state and local governments to help with this problem.
St. Vincent de Paul, Society of Lane County, is one of the groups that will get the money.
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“It is a crucial pin in the continuum of care that we want to get to stabilize families in local communities,” said Terry McDonald, the executive director of St. Vincent de Paul Society of Lane County. “Without this federal funding, in addition to the local funding and outreach, much of the success we’ve had over the years would not be possible.”
This success comes from three different programs that have been in the works for decades.
“It’s part of the continuum of care program that we’ve run for a number of years and that includes the Vet LIFT program, the LIFT program and the Connections programs.”
These three programs help different kinds of people, but they have helped 185 people, including 84 children, in the past year.
McDonald says that three-quarters of them have been given permanent homes so far.
The federal government will give $795,626 to the St. Vincent de Paul Society of Lane County. This will allow the nonprofit to keep providing these services.
Senator Merkley and McDonald agree that more needs to be done to solve the housing problem in the state because it is such a big problem.
“Certainly, every bit of funding helps and $50 million is a significant chunk,” said Sen. Merkley. “I really want to applaud the state legislature for appropriating $200 million. I am working through all of the federal programs to support the increase in vouchers, more support for mental health (and) more support for addiction.”
- Here is a list of the places where the rest of the money will go.
Home Forward: $7,037,001
- Washington County Department of Housing Services: $4,647,955
- Central City Concern: $4,042,885
- Housing Solutions, Inc.: $3,517,363
- Multnomah County: $3,192,421
- Lane County: $2,512,675
- Transitions Projects, Inc.: $2,402,163
- Self Enhancement, Inc.: $2,329,124
- Cascadia Health: $1,517,605
- Clackamas Department of Health, Housing & Human Services: $1,387,117
- Urban League of Portland: $1,184,621
- Clackamas Women’s Services, Inc.: $1,144,228
- Community Action Team, Inc: $936,780
- Corvallis Neighborhood Housing Services: $856,599
- YWCA of Greater Portland: $834,884
- Homes for Good: $829,786
- St. Vincent de Paul Society of Lane County, Inc.: $795,626
- Native American Rehabilitation Association of the Northwest: $761,860
- Center for Hope & Safety: $699,273
- The Salvation Army: $674,363
- Outside In: $610,737
- Cascade AIDS Project: $591,479
- NeighborImpact: $572,604
- Housing Authority of Clackamas County: $541,368
- Neighborhood House: $467,802
- Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization (IRCO): $428,835
- Bradley Angle/Andrea Lee/Healing Roots Consolidation: $418,856
- United Community Action Network: $404,753
- Shangri-La Corporation: $364,377
- Yamhill Community Action Partnership: $332,451
- Community Services Consortium: $326,722
- JOIN: $317,452
- Northwest Pilot Project, Inc.: $270,435
- New Narrative: $259,504
- Northwest Family Services: $250,000
- City of Portland: $245,666
- Community Action Partnership of Oregon: $239,038
- Parrott Creek Child & Family Services: $234,804
- Clatsop Community Action: $227,483