Supportive Housing Plan Complete! City Council and Board of County Commissioners to Hear Report Tuesday.

Release Date: September 11, 2018
Contact: Denis Theriault, denis.theriault@multco.us

At a joint work session Tuesday, September 11, commissioners from Portland and Multnomah County will hear a briefing from our colleagues at Corporation of Supportive Housing (CSH), who have done excellent work to complete a full report outlining: community-wide need for supportive housing; estimated costs, potential funding sources and resource coordination that it will take to meet that need; and key next-steps to continue implementation. The work session is scheduled from 2 - 3:30 PM, at City Council chambers and will be live-streamed if you'd like to watch.

Overall, the necessary investment to achieve the supportive housing goal is estimated at $592 million to $640 million over 10 years. Operating costs after those 10 years are estimated at $43 million to $47 million a year. The report from CSH includes a plan to align those costs across all levels of government and alongside the private development, philanthropic and health care sectors.

The report also makes clear that significant progress toward the 2,000-unit goal is already under way. Since last fall, 517 new units of supportive housing have already opened or are in development.

Those units mark important early proof that the strategies presented in CSH’s report can work to produce hundreds more housing units across the community.

Supportive housing — which combines deep affordability with intensive care, including mental health and addiction services — is essential for helping neighbors with the most barriers not only obtain homes but also keep them.

And the number of people who face those barriers is growing. People with significant disabilities and long periods of homelessness are the fastest growing population on our streets

Supportive housing is often the most effective way to serve a significant share of our neighbors experiencing homelessness. It’s a proven way to end the painful and expensive cycles that send some neighbors from hospital beds to jail beds to shelter beds to sidewalks and back again. Ending those cycles by providing supportive housing, in turn, saves lives, while also saving money spent on emergency health care, Medicaid and public safety, among other services.

The joint City/County work session will also include a brief update on community-level progress through our shared efforts under A Home for Everyone (AHFE). Nearly 6,000 people were helped from homelessness back into housing in the fiscal year that ended June 30. That’s a 21 percent increase from the number helped the year before, and a 99 percent increase, or essentially double, from what providers accomplished before A Home for Everyone launched in 2013-14.

More than 8,000 people spent at least one night in shelter, double the number served four years ago. In addition, more than 6,300 people received rent assistance for the first time so they could stay in housing, thousands more than just a few years before. That success demonstrates the strength of working closely across jurisdictions and around a common strategy.

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