Portland City Council votes to extend housing emergency for one - KPTV - FOX 12

Portland City Council votes to extend housing emergency for one year

Posted: Updated:
Source: KPTV Source: KPTV
Source: KPTV Source: KPTV

Portland city commissioners voted unanimously Wednesday to extend the city’s housing emergency for another year, through early October 2017.

At a meeting of city commissioners Wednesday, Mayor Charlie Hales said housing costs have risen 11 percent since last year, nearly 2,000 people are sleeping unsheltered on city streets and the lack of both available shelter beds and affordable housing continues to be overwhelming.

However, by extending the emergency declaration, additional resources and funding will be made available.

Hales said half a billion dollars is being put toward issues surrounding housing, shelter space and outreach. That includes a $250 million dollar bond measure for affordable housing that voters will decide on in November.

At Wednesday’s meeting, dozens of people shared their concerns on the growing crisis as emotions ran high.

“Where the hell are we supposed to go?” asked one person, speaking about rent hikes and no-cause evictions. “Our notice of rent increase is an eviction from the City of Portland.”

“I became homeless and found out I was pregnant, and guess what? Your services? They suck,” said another.

The meeting comes one day before hundreds of people who are homeless are being forced off the Springwater Corridor, in one of the largest sweeps the city has ever seen.

“I don’t think you’ve done anything,” one resident told commissioners. “Are you listening to me mayor? You’re going to go to hell when you do these sweeps.”

“What we’re dealing with are people who are torn and broken and tired,” said Ibrihim Mubarak, the founder of a well-known camp in downtown Portland called Right 2 Dream Too, which sleeps roughly 100 people.

Mubarak told FOX 12 he supports the extension of the housing emergency declaration, but is very much opposed to the sweep of the trail.

He is set to be one of the leaders of a new temporary shelter at the city’s former Terminal 1 site in an industrial area of northwest Portland, which is expected to open in the coming months.

Additionally, the city is in the process of working out zoning regulations to allow the Right 2 Dream Too camp to move to an industrial area on the central eastside.

Mubarak hopes to see the new site open quickly.

“Today. Today, right? Soon as possible,” he said. “Because again, we don’t want to be doing this during the rainy season either.”

Leo Rhodes, a veteran who was homeless for 10 years before finding transitional housing, told FOX 12 he’s bothered by statements from some neighbors in the city who speak negatively about the homeless population.

“One guy was saying, ‘I can’t have my kids out here, they’re staying inside all day long,’” Rhodes said. “So what are we telling everyone in the future? That we have to be scared of people that are less fortunate than us? That we shouldn’t care for them? That we have to hide from them? We have to stay away from them? Not everyone is a criminal out there. There are a lot of people who are just down on their luck and trying to survive.”

Copyright 2016 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly
FOX 12
Powered by WorldNow CNN
All content © 2018, KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation, Portland, OR . All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.