Proposed bill would let city of Portland clean up homeless camps - KPTV - FOX 12

Proposed bill would let city of Portland clean up homeless camps on ODOT land

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The city of Portland wants to clean up homeless camps that are not on city property, and a new house bill proposes that the city have access to camps on the Oregon Department of Transportation's land.

Currently the city and the state have their own set of rules when it comes to cleaning up homeless camps. Under proposed House Bill 4054 those separated regulations would essentially disappear. 

If passed, the city of Portland would be allowed to clean up camps on ODOT’s property, by using most of its rules.

“ODOT is very good at planning and building highways and maybe they need a little help when it comes to what do we do with these homeless camps,” said supporter of the bill, Senator Rod Monroe.

Currently, the city gives campers 24 hours to seven days to clear out. ODOT offers a much longer window, 10-19 days. 

But the new bill aims to change that. If passed, campers would get a 48-hour warning.

In Portland, tents and the homeless are easily spotted. But what isn’t so clear, is if the homeless camps are on the city’s property or the states.

“We have ODOT property we have city property, you can’t tell which is which,” said another supporter of the bill, Representative Jeff Reardon. 

Chances are, the tents that people see near overpasses or along Interstate 205, land in ODOT’s jurisdiction.

“Without this legislation the parties are still stuck,” said Rep. Reardon.

Under the bill, all personal items found in a homeless camps would be stored for at least 30 days.

Not everyone agrees with this idea. 

ACLU of Oregon told FOX 12 this isn’t a solution. They said they don’t want policy makers working on bills about how to do “better” homeless sweeps – they want them working with the community to find creative solutions to house the homeless.

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