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Central OR To Receive $13.9M In Homelessness Aid

PORTLAND, OR -- Central Oregon will receive $13.9 million to rehouse 161 households and create 111 new shelter beds. The allocation comes from Governor Tina Kotek’s state of emergency recently funded by the legislature. A local Multi-Agency Coordinating (MAC) group, led by the Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council (COIC), will coordinate the spending and is responsible for the day-to-day implementation of funds.

Central Oregon is among seven regions to receive money. Governor Kotek said Monday she expects each of those regions to spend the money based on their individual application, "The funding today is connected to community plans with specific outcomes of: Shelter capacity, new shelter capacity and rehousing individuals from unsheltered homelessness to transitional shelter, to actual housing."

Kotek specifically praised Lane County’s application, "On their first submission of their application, they were the only continuum of care that had a fully complete application on the first deadline." Lane County received $15.5 million to rehouse 247 households and create 230 shelter beds. She also made note of COIC's application for Deschutes, Crook and Jefferson counties, "Central Oregon; another strong example of partnerships across the community, to come up with a very concrete, detailed plan of how they were going to meet their goals."

Funding is also headed to Clackamas, Washington and Jackson counties, as well as the Salem area. Kotek called Multnomah County's $18.2 million allocation "tentative," saying, "We need to see stronger collaboration and detail from Multnomah County and the city of Portland, about how they plan to spend those dollars. It’s important; we’re not just going to be handing out money without specific outcomes. We need to know how it’s going to be spent and have confidence that they will hit those goals." She added, "There’s going to be regular reporting, regular check-ins. And, if there are any challenges, we want to know what they are, we want to help them work through them. And, worse case scenario, if there’s a community that’s not on track to hit their goals - and they have very specific goals for rehousing and shelter capacity, then we will reallocate those dollars because we need to hit those goals by the end of the year."

State emergency funding totals $98.8 million, with the goal of preventing 8,750 households from becoming homeless, add at least 600 low-barrier shelter beds and rehouse at least 1,200 unsheltered households in those emergency areas. "Our goal here is to work directly with these communities to finalize the contracts with the dollars that have been allocated to them," Kotek said Monday, "We’re working really hard to have template contracts; it now falls to them, as the recipients, to get  their questions answered, sign off on the contracts. If all goes well, money could be flowing to these continuum of care areas by April 28th." 

The legislature recently approved an additional $155 million aimed at also reducing homelessness in Oregon counties outside of the emergency declaration.


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