Kotek outlines how she’d spend $130M to tackle Oregon’s homelessness crisis

Governor Tina Kotek is outlining how she’d spend $130 million to address the homelessness crisis in Oregon.
Published: Jan. 27, 2023 at 6:46 AM PST
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PORTLAND, Ore. (KPTV) - Governor Tina Kotek is outlining how she’d spend $130 million to address the homelessness crisis in Oregon.

Kotek announced the budget proposal on her first full day in office along with declaring homeless a state of emergency. She calls the request urgent, saying there are roughly 18,000 Oregonians experiencing homelessness right now with most no shelter at all.

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Kotek’s initial proposal includes:

  • $33.6 million to prevent 8,750 households from becoming homeless by funding rent assistance and other eviction prevention services.
  • $23.8 million to add 600 low-barrier shelter beds statewide and hire more housing navigators to ensure unsheltered Oregonians can get connected to the shelter and services they need.
  • $54.4 million to rehouse at least 1,200 unsheltered households by funding prepaid rental assistance, block leasing at least 600 vacant homes, landlord guarantees and incentives, and other re-housing services.
  • $5 million to support emergency response directly to the nine sovereign tribes in the State of Oregon.
  • $5 million to increase capacity for culturally responsive organizations to support equitable outcomes of the homelessness state of emergency.
  • $2 million to support local communities for sanitation services.
  • $1.8 million to support the emergency response being coordinated by the Office of Emergency Management and Oregon Housing and Community Services.

The governor’s office says these investments would be just one piece of a larger strategy needed to address the crisis.

“I am urging the legislature to take up this investment package as quickly as possible. Unsheltered Oregonians need relief now, and our local communities need the support to provide that relief. This is only the first step. Together, we can act with the urgency people across our state are demanding. Bold ideas, concrete solutions, disciplined follow through. That’s how we can deliver results, this year, and in the years to follow,” Kotek said in a statement.

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Kotek has had preliminary conversations with legislative leaders and says she looks forward to working with them to finalize the package.