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Gov. Kotek signs $200 million emergency housing, homelessness crisis response package into law

Gov. Tina Kotek held ceremonial signing of housing, homelessness emergency package Wednesday
Gov. Tina Kotek's office
Gov. Tina Kotek held ceremonial signing of housing, homelessness emergency package Wednesday

State agencies praise bill's passage, detail its impacts

SALEM, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Gov. Tina Kotek signed House Bills 5019 and 2001 into law Wednesday during her first ceremonial bill signing as governor after both bills passed with bipartisan support last week.

The governor was joined by lawmakers and advocates for the bill signing, an announcement from her office stated.

The legislation will help address Oregon's housing and homelessness crisis, and includes the urgent funding Governor Kotek proposed in response to the homelessness state of emergency that she declared on her first full day in office. The funding is dedicated to homelessness prevention programs, more shelter capacity, rehousing services and more.

“On my first full day in office, I honored my commitment to all Oregonians by declaring a homelessness state of emergency," Governor Kotek said. "I said at the time that the declaration needed to be followed by a comprehensive housing and homelessness package this legislative session. These two bills are the down payment on this session’s efforts.”

"Faced with a statewide housing and homelessness crisis, legislators worked across the aisle and with the Governor to put Oregon on a path toward a future where housing is available and affordable for everyone,” Senate President Rob Wagner (D-Lake Oswego) said.

“Today demonstrates that we can deliver on the biggest, most important issues facing Oregonians,” House Speaker Dan Rayfield (D-Corvallis) said. “Both chambers, both parties, came together with the Governor to tackle our big challenges head on. And we did it in an unprecedented timeframe.”

House Bill 5019 provides $20 million to expand and strengthen the Oregon Department of Human Services, Youth Experiencing Homelessness Program
Oregon Department of Human Services 

(Salem) – The Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS) applauds Governor Tina Kotek who today signed bipartisan legislation addressing the state’s housing and homelessness crisis into law.

House Bill 5019 (HB 5019) includes a suite of policy changes and investments intended to address Oregon’s housing needs. It provides approximately $20 million dollars of funding to expand and strengthen the ODHS Youth Experiencing Homelessness Program.

The ODHS Youth Experiencing Homelessness Program is tasked with coordinating statewide planning for delivery of services to youth experiencing homelessness under the age of 25. The program partners with impacted youth, community organizations and other state agencies to support and fund initiatives and programs within the youth homelessness system.

"We all have an interest in a community in which young people have access to stable and safe housing so that they can pursue their life’s goals and reach their full potential,” said ODHS Director Fariborz Pakseresht (he/him). “A young person’s experience with homelessness does not always follow a linear path and is unique from the experience of adults. We are grateful to Governor Kotek and the Oregon Legislature for this investment of $20 million that will strengthen our ability to work in collaboration with community-based organizations, local government and other system partners, to provide flexible supports and services that meet young people experiencing homelessness where they are.”

ODHS will use the $20 million provided by HB 5019 to expand and strengthen its support of local programs across the state, as well as newer initiatives and supports for youth experiencing homelessness across Oregon by increasing investments in:  

  • Prevention services including youth outreach and drop-in services.
  • Early and crisis intervention housing such as shelter and other programming.
  • Medium-term housing such as transitional living and other programming.
  • Host home programs that provide temporary housing for youth experiencing homelessness.
  • Other services such as culturally specific programming, mental health and substance use supports.

HB 5019 will also increase the ODHS Youth Experiencing Homelessness Program staff from one to six positions, this will improve ODHS’ ability to collaborate with partners and young people, expand services that meet young people where they are and improve data collection. 

In 2021, ODHS completed the state's first needs assessment focused on youth experiencing homelessness. The assessment estimated that there are over 8,200 unhoused individuals under the age of 25 who are likely to need safe, affordable housing and services to maintain stability.

More information about the ODHS Youth Experiencing Homelessness Program can be found online

About the Oregon Department of Human Services

The mission of the Oregon Department of Human Services is to help Oregonians in their own communities achieve wellbeing and independence through opportunities that protect, empower, respect choice and preserve dignity. 

Department of Administrative Services on Governor Kotek Signing the Affordable Housing & Emergency Homelessness Response Package into Law
State of Oregon - 03/29/23 4:10 PM

Salem, OR- Today, Governor Kotek signed House Bill 2001 and House Bill 5019 into law. This Affordable Housing & Emergency Homelessness Response Package will allow the Department of Administrative Services to analyze housing data to support local jurisdictions and state agencies to make critical, data-driven decisions that will benefit all Oregonians.

The Department of Administrative Services, along with a number of state agencies are proud to begin work on improving the state of housing in Oregon.

The Department of Administrative Services has an important role set forth in House Bill 2001 which begins with the first step in the Oregon Housing Needs Analysis: calculating the number of housing units needed in Oregon. This calculation will be conducted while taking into account the following:

  • Historical underproduction of housing;
  • Housing for our homeless neighbors; and
  • Expected future need.

Examining the need is an important step in assessing how state government may be able to improve the housing situation across the state. Oregonians are struggling with housing availability and high costs and Governor Kotek has made it a top priority to alleviate those challenges. This work, along with other analytical work that the agency conducts will be performed in a clear and transparent manner, consistent with the high-quality analysis the public expects, and policy leaders rely upon.

The Oregon Housing Needs Analysis is conducted by the Office of Economic Analysis within the Department of Administrative Services. Once the analysis is conducted, local governments and state agencies including the Department of Land Conservation and Development and Oregon Housing and Community Services can begin to make actionable plans to alleviate the challenges in increasing supply and making housing more affordable. The analysis is required to be completed no later than January 1, 2025, however, the Department of Administrative Services will work to ensure it is completed on a timeline that supports agencies’ needs. 

“Governor Kotek and the Legislature have made a historic investment in the housing future of Oregon,” said Berri Leslie, Interim Director of Department of Administrative Services. “We are prepared to take these first, important steps needed to evaluate the state’s housing needs. This analysis will help other agencies do the vital work of creating stability and a housing environment that makes sense for the needs of all Oregonians.”

OHCS uplifts Governor Kotek's signing of HBs 2001 and 5019 as a bold step to address the housing needs of the people of Oregon
Oregon Housing and Community Services - 03/29/23 4:10 PM

SALEM, Ore. — Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS) applauds Governor Tina Kotek who today signed bipartisan legislation addressing the state’s housing and homelessness crisis into law. 

“As Oregonians, we are bound by our shared values that all people have access to basic, fundamental needs to which affordable housing is fundamental,” said OHCS Director Andrea Bell. “This legislation marks forward progress in the direction of sustained effort to improve the quality of lives of the people of Oregon.  

“The way forward requires all of us and investments at the scale needed to tackle the affordable housing crisis. Our economies and our communities are stronger when all people have access to their basic needs to which housing is fundamental. We are grateful to Gov. Kotek for relentlessly working toward meaningful change and the Oregon Legislature for recognizing the criticality that investing in affordable housing is investing in family stability, children’s success, racial justice and the economic health of our entire state.” 

HB 2001 includes a suite of policy changes intended to address Oregon’s housing needs. Some of those impact OHCS directly; some do not. Policies that would affect OHCS and the work the agency does include:  

Dedicating Emergency Housing Account (EHA) funds, one of OHCS’ core homeless services programs, to providing services and assistance to school-aged children or their families who are experiencing, or are at risk of experiencing, homelessness.  

Changing Oregon’s eviction timelines and statutes, which do not affect state programs directly but impact OHCS’ and our partners’ ability to reach Oregonians at risk of becoming homeless and provide support to keep them stably housed. 

Creating a loan/grant program to support manufacturers of modular housing, prioritizing benefits to Oregonians who lost housing due to disasters, live on low incomes, or live on moderate income (in that order).  

Codifying the Oregon Housing Needs Analysis, which shifts Oregon’s land use program in a way that empowers cities to take actions that meaningfully increase housing production, affordability, and choice.   

As a companion to those policy changes, House Bill 5019, the Affordable Housing and Emergency Homelessness Response Package includes key housing investments that OHCS will distribute to create housing solutions. This includes $155 million to support Oregon children and families at risk of and facing homelessness. The urgent need for funding was proposed by the Governor in response to the homelessness state of emergency that she declared on her first full day of office. 

About Oregon Housing and Community ServicesOregon Housing and Community Services provides resources for Oregonians to reduce poverty and increase access to stable housing. Our intentional focus on both housing and community services allows us to serve Oregonians holistically across the housing continuum, including preventing and ending homelessness, assisting with utilities, providing housing stability support, financing multifamily affordable housing and encouraging homeownership.
Article Topic Follows: Government-politics

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