City Council Approves Mayor Wheeler’s $27M ‘Down Payment’ to Help Build Six Designated Camping Sites

News Article
Mayor’s affordable housing and homelessness plan gains momentum as ongoing community outreach and fundraising efforts continue

Today, Portland City Council approved Mayor Ted Wheeler’s $27M Fall Budget Monitoring Process (BMP) proposals to jumpstart the five-resolution plan co-sponsored by Commissioner Ryan to build six designated camping sites.  

“City Council’s approval of these homelessness and affordable housing investments demonstrates our seriousness in addressing these issues,” said Wheeler. “The success of this work hinges on federal, regional, state, and local partners coming to the table with their ideas, services, and resources.”

Fall BMP Proposals

For a full overview of the $27M approved funding, please visit the City Budget Office Fall BMP page.

Updates on the Five Resolution Plan recently passed by City Council:

Mayor Wheeler and Commissioner Ryan continue working closely to get the ball rolling on this ambitious affordable housing plan, including engaging with consultant teams who will conduct a public land evaluation for affordable housing as well as an assessment of local regulations on housing costs and productions.

Work Systems is actively convening discussions with various stakeholders including community-based organizations and agencies that work with homeless communities as they work to develop their proposal.  

Work on Mayor Wheeler’s designated camping plan is well underway with site location selection, construction, and operational announcements forthcoming.

Mayor Wheeler and his staff continue to meet with community members to discuss the Five Resolution Plan, listen to concerns, and gain feedback. Two meetings (along with the presentation) are available for view on the Mayor’s website here.

Outreach and fundraising efforts continue with key stakeholders to help ensure we have the right partnerships and resources to move this plan forward. A few weeks ago, the Mayor and his staff met with Governor-Elect Tina Kotek and Multnomah County Chair-Elect Jessica Vega Pederson at City Hall to discuss the Mayor’s resolution package. Both expressed their support for this work and committed to working productively with the Mayor’s office and City Council moving forward. Conversations between the Mayor’s office and Metro leadership continue.

Commits the City to a multi-jurisdictional conversation and advocacy to meet Oregon’s housing and homeless crisis. Yesterday, City Council held a work session kicking off the Federal and State legislative agenda-setting process for the coming year.

We have made clear asks to our government partners to support specific funding requests and services needed to help ensure this plan is successful:

Multnomah County to provide $21 million to fund the capital and operations for 3 of the 6 sanctioned sites, behavioral and mental health resources, data, and housing navigation. The County has over $33 million in both over collected and underspent resources through both the Joint Office of Homeless Services and the region’s Supportive Housing Services funding provided to the County.   

Metro to lead a process in 2023 to revisit the regional Supporting Housing Services measure allocation formula for both existing funding allocations and managing unanticipated revenue collections.  

State of Oregon to declare a State of Emergency on Homelessness and assist in establishing these sanctioned sites. In addition, we ask for the State’s support of the Oregon Mayor’s Association Taskforce on Homelessness’ request for a budget package totaling $123 million ongoing annually, during the 2023 Legislative Session to provide direct allocations to cities for homelessness response and prevention services.  

The Mayor and his staff have convened a workgroup with representatives from the judiciary, District Attorney, public defenders, and other County partners to design a diversion program. This program will be aimed at providing offramps from the criminal legal system, removing legal barriers to address collateral consequences of homelessness, and connecting them with services.

You can watch the full City Council session here: