Slow rollout cited, along with the county's access to other funds; $850,000 more to C.O.
SALEM, Ore. (KTVZ) – Gov. Tina Kotek has pulled $2.7 million of the $18.2 million in emergency homeless response funds directed to Multnomah County and redistributed them to six other counties, including three in Central Oregon, due to the slow rollout by the state’s most populous county and its access to other funding.
Kotek in March signed a $200 million Emergency Homelessness Response package that she said would help move 1,200 Oregonians without shelter into housing and create 600 new shelter beds by next January, OPB reported.
Nearly $80 million of those dollars were distributed across the states’ most populous counties in April, with the largest portion, $18.2 million, going directly to Multnomah County. Central Oregon received $13.9 million to rehouse 161 households and create 111 shelter beds.
Kotek's press secretary, Elisabeth Shepard, provided this breakdown and details on Thursday to NewsChannel 21:
|County||Dollar amount||Additional Number of households rehoused||Current Goal|
|Central Oregon MAC (Deschutes, Jefferson, Crook counties)||850,000||25||161|
For context, our statewide goals are:
- Prevent at least 8,750 households from becoming homeless statewide;
- Add at least 600 low-barrier shelter beds in emergency areas;
- Rehouse at least 1,200 unsheltered households in emergency areas.
Additional information about how these goals are divided across the state and more can be found here: Oregon Housing and Community Services : FAQ: Housing Emergency Executive Orders : State of Oregon
We are at a key decision point in order to reach these goals. Given Multnomah County’s existing local, regional, state, and federal resources, the funding from the emergency order will have a greater impact toward meeting our statewide goals by January 10 if reinvested into MAC (Multi-Agency Coordination) groups who are on track in their rehousing goals and indicated they had capacity to do more if given additional resources.
Why $2.6 million?
The amount is based on projections and estimates that Oregon Housing and Community Services requested from the providers in the regions listed above for what it would cost to increase their rehousing goals.
Is there a date that counties next to spend this money by?
The goal of the order is to achieve the outcomes by January 10, 2024. Funding may be spent after this date to sustain the work that is set up during the Executive Order period, such as paying for the rent or services that people being rehoused may need. However, the outcomes need to be accomplished by January 10, 2024.
Tammy Baney, executive director of the Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council, which oversees use of the governor's funds, said the region agreed to provide "rapid rehousing" to 25 households with the added money. She said the state dollars can be used for up to a year for each household.
Multnomah County Chair Jessica Vega Pederson said their funding cut will “not at all” impact the county’s response to homelessness.
Multnomah County Chair Jessica Vega Pederson said the funding cut will “not at all” impact the county’s response to homelessness.
“The Governor and I both recognize that Multnomah County has more resources than other parts of the state,” Vega Pederson told OPB. “Our investments and goals – and the impacts they will have on our Homelessness Response System and our ability to allocate targeted resources to this crisis – will not change.”
Vega Pederson said she had already considered returning some of the money to the state before Wednesday’s announcement.
That’s mostly due to the county’s unprecedented influx of public funding meant to address homelessness – and its challenges getting those dollars out the door, OPB reported.