Multnomah Co. hoping new pilot program will help ease homeless c - KPTV - FOX 12

Multnomah Co. hoping new pilot program will help ease homeless crisis

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

Multnomah County has a creative new approach to easing the homeless crisis, and it involves tiny houses built in people's backyards.

The project is called "A Place For You." Multnomah County hopes it's a win-win for both homeless families and homeowners who take part in this.

The county has been struggling to find locations for authorized homeless camps and shelters, especially since the Springwater Trail was swept last September.

A big challenge is finding a new place for the homeless to go, where neighbors won't complain. The new idea side-steps getting the approval of neighborhoods by working directly with homeowners.

Here's how the plan works:

The project will work by having the county pay to build a tiny house, about 200-square feet, on a homeowner's property. The homeowner would have to commit to a five-year lease of the backyard structure to a homeless family without pocketing any rent.

At the end of that lease, the homeowner gets to keep the tiny house with the thought that it will give them a substantial property upgrade.

Each tiny house will cost up to $75,000.

The county plans to build five tiny homes for the pilot program, with a goal of building four of them by the end of June.

If it goes well, the county says it could expand the program to 300 homes. At this point, the county has not finalized any locations for the pilot project.

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