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Emergency housing solution for wildfire victims could end up helping Bend’s homeless

City 'sounding committee' meets to discuss findings, survey results

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) --  An emergency solution for displaced wildfire victims could become one of the long-term solutions for the homeless in Bend.

“This is for people going through tough times," Bend City Councilor Megan Perkins said Wednesday. "You can put an RV in your driveway.” 

The city of Bend introduced the "hardship shelter" solution last summer, during wildfire season. Homeowners, if approved, were able to let people stay in an RV on their driveway for a year, with a chance to renew their permit another two times, for a total of three years.

The city of Bend's Sounding Board to House Our Neighbors committee changed that permit time length to six months, with the chance to renew three times, for a total of two years. The committee also changed the term "hardship shelter" to 'housing shelter.'

The committee also reviewed a recent survey about the issue. Nearly 80 percent of the 868 people surveyed said they did not agree with the sounding boards recommendations for hardship housing in the form of RVs in driveways.

Seven of the eight committee members voted to approve the changes, which will be reviewed by the city Planning Commission in January, then sent to the city council for review and possible adoption.

Shawn McFadden voted against the proposal.

“Based on my little experience and most of that comes from reading the responses, I don't think the community supports it,” McFadden said.  

You can watch the full committee meeting here.

Article Topic Follows: Bend

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Jordan Williams

Jordan Williams is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Jordan here.


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