FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contacts: Tony Hernandez (Urban League) 503-997-4660, firstname.lastname@example.org; Lisa Frack (Human Solutions) 503.548.0282, LFrack@humansolutions.org; Kaia Sand (Street Roots) (503) 967-3987, email@example.com
Press Conference on Zoom at 10 a.m. Thursday
Portland collective issues challenge to house 3,000 in 2022
Housing options are available now that are less expensive and more humane than mass shelter.
PORTLAND, Ore. — March 2, 2022 — We call on you, our elected leaders and community, to push for immediate housing solutions available now for people experiencing homelessness — a challenge we will announce at 10 a.m. Thursday.
Harness the urgency of this moment to make a lasting impact on homelessness in our community instead of moving people around the city and threatening criminalization, which is ineffective, expensive and inhumane. It increases racial disparities, intensifies trauma, and does not add a single unit of housing. Investing in housing is a true solution, and it also opens capacity in emergency shelters as folks move back into housing, freeing up space for new folks in shelter.
We challenge Portland to house 3,000 people in 2022. Solutions must include permanent housing that promotes racial equity and works to eliminate racial disparities in homelessness, even as we work to end homelessness for everyone. These solutions are ready now. Let’s use them:
- Access empty apartments using rent support, landlord coordination and wraparound services. Property owners can commit to making at least one of vacant units available (pledge goes live 10 a.m. Thursday). The city and county can support this with vouchers, rent buydowns and rental subsidies. Nonprofits can provide wraparound support and retention services. Community members can rally their neighbors to support these efforts.
- Purchase properties that are ready to provide housing now. Support nonprofit and public acquisition and operation of motels/hotels, newly constructed apartments and other buildings that are ready to convert to a “ready-now” model of affordable housing. Deploy best practices from Oregon’s Project Turnkey model and the Terner Center Study.
- Ensure that our new and existing affordable housing is accessible to people experiencing homelessness. Ensure that screening criteria does not exacerbate racial disparities. Affordable housing, financed by local bond measures, tax credits and other financing tools, should more deeply prioritize people experiencing homelessness. We can fund rent buydowns and offer deeper service and financial support. This way we ensure we are building permanent homes tailored to the needs of people who need them most.
All options must not be connected to bans or sweeps. These strategies are strengthened by eviction protection, mutual aid efforts, and support for people quickly transitioning from shelters to housing. True solutions are possible if we all work together.
Media Contacts: Tony Hernandez (Urban League) (503) 997-4660; Lisa Frack (Human Solutions) 503-548-0282; Kaia Sand (Street Roots) (503) 967-3987
Press Conference Zoom Link (ID: 526 363 2177) https://us02web.zoom.us/j/5263632177
We are a growing collective of advocates, service providers, people with lived experience of homelessness and other neighbors who support true solutions that help instead of harm.
Join us in insisting 3,000 people are housed in 2022. Take the pledge online starting Thursday.
|JOIN||Urban League of Portland||Sisters of the Road|
|Street Roots||Portland Neighbors Welcome||Ground Score Association|
|Verde||Human Solutions||Northwest Pilot Project|
|Portland DSA||Trash for Peace||Portland Homeless Family Solutions|
|Oregon Kids Read||Transition Projects||Fair Housing Council of Oregon|
|Coalition of Communities of Color||Community Alliance of Tenants|