In Short

U.S. Department of Housing sending $50 million to Oregon to address homelessness

By: - March 28, 2023 1:53 pm
homeless

A tent is anchored with shopping carts off of Lancaster Drive in Salem, Oregon on Thursday, March 24, 2023. The U.S. Department of Housing estimates that at least 18,000 people in Oregon are unsheltered. (Amanda Loman/Oregon Capital Chronicle)

The federal government is sending nearly $50 million to Oregon nonprofits, counties and other entities to address homelessness.

The money – from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development – adds to a $200 million investment approved by the state Legislature this month to help hundreds of Oregonians find housing. At least 18,000 Oregonians are homeless, according to the U.S. housing department and many more live precariously, struggling to make rent or mortgage payments on unaffordable homes. Addressing the crisis is one of Gov. Tina Kotek’s top priorities.

The federal funding program supports efforts by nonprofits and state and local governments to get homeless individuals and families quickly into homes. The program also aims to help homeless individuals and families gain access to support programs in an effort to get them stabilized.

Oregon’s two Democratic senators – Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden – announced the funding in a release.

“This funding will provide critical support for communities and individuals across the state struggling to find affordable housing,” Merkley said. 

Wyden added: “Quality of life for Oregonians or anybody else in America requires people to have a roof over their heads and a floor under their feet.”

Earlier this month, Wyden reintroduced a bill that died in a previous congressional session to get people on the streets into housing and make homes more affordable by increasing the supply and making the purchase of a new home easier through a tax credit. The bill has been referred to the U.S. Senate Finance Committee, which Wyden chairs.

In Oregon, Home Forward, a Portland-based nongovernmental housing authority that relies on the federal government for funding, will get the biggest grant from the federal government, more than $7 million, followed by $4.6 million to the Washington County Department of Housing Services. The housing department awarded Central City Concern, a Portland-based nonprofit, $4 million.

Nine other entities got at least $1 million:

  • Housing Solutions, Inc.: $3.5 million
  • Multnomah County: $3.2 million
  • Lane County: $2.5 million
  • Transitions Projects, Inc.: $2.4 million
  • Self Enhancement, Inc.: $2.3 million
  • Cascadia Health: $1.5 million
  • Clackamas Department of Health, Housing & Human Services: $1.4 million
  • Urban League of Portland: $1.2 million
  • Clackamas Women’s Services, Inc.: $1.1 million

The department awarded another 42 grants to nonprofits and governments, including $245,666 for the city of Portland. The smallest grant – $14,696 – is going to Oregon Housing and Community Services, the state housing agency.

 

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Lynne Terry
Lynne Terry

Lynne Terry, who has more than 30 years of journalism experience, is Oregon Capital Chronicle's editor-in-chief. She previously was editor of The Lund Report, a highly regarded health news site; reported on health in her 18 years at The Oregonian, was a senior producer at Oregon Public Broadcasting and Paris correspondent for National Public Radio.

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