Oregon housing package leaves existing shelters at risk of closure

Oregon housing package leaves existing shelters at risk of closure

Oregon legislators have recently passed a housing package that fails to address the current state of Oregon’s existing shelters and puts them at risk of closure.

The package, which was passed unanimously by the Oregon House of Representatives, provides $50 million in funding to create and preserve affordable housing units, but does not provide any money to sustain existing shelters. Although the money allotted for the package is welcome, it falls short of the estimated $150 million needed to maintain the state’s existing shelters.

Without additional funding, the shelters could be forced to close, leaving many vulnerable individuals without access to the most basic of services. This would have significant repercussions for those living in poverty and could further exacerbate the state’s already rampant homelessness epidemic.

Concerns about the package’s lack of focus on existing shelters have been voiced by housing advocates and lawmakers alike. Representative Alissa Keny-Guyer of Portland, who chairs the House Human Services and Housing Committee, has emphasized the importance of providing resources to current shelters to ensure that individuals have access to the resources they need to stay off the streets.

The package is also heavily reliant on federal funding, and there is no guarantee that the money will be available. This adds to the uncertainty surrounding the future of the state’s existing shelters and raises questions about how the state will provide needed services to those in need.

In its current form, the housing package fails to adequately address the needs of Oregon’s existing shelters and could put them at risk of closure. As such, advocates and lawmakers alike are urging legislators to prioritize the needs of the state’s existing shelters, and to provide the necessary resources to ensure that they remain open and operational.