New $200 million state homelessness investment package expected to pass

SALEM, Ore.– A new $200 million affordable housing package is expected to pass in the state legislature with bi-partisan support.

The housing package is expected to fully fund Governor Kotek’s homeless state of emergency.

Part of the money will also go towards an investment fund for housing production.

Since declaring a homeless state of emergency on her first day in office, Governor Tina Kotek has also been working on an investment package to address homelessness.

She said it will help get over 1,200 Oregonians off the streets.

Ashland Democratic Representative Pam Marsh said legislators are making it a priority.

“The desire is pass this early in the session, clearly flag it as being an emergency, get the money out to communities,” Marsh said.

If passed, $150 million would go towards implementing Governor Kotek’s state of emergency plan.

The other $50 million would go towards youth homelessness programming and a modular housing investment fund.

“You will see it within weeks.” Marsh said, “we need to think about how we can use it strategically to try to get people off the street. Particular emphasis on families, veterans, youth, seniors, our very most vulnerable people.”

The plan is expected to pass the legislature with bipartisan support within the next two weeks.

Medford Republican Representative Kim Wallan said she will support the investment package.

Though she said it doesn’t address the rising cost of housing, particularly in Southern Oregon.

“This really is going to deal with shelters,” Wallan said, “mostly with shelters and the continuum of care and Jackson County has a continuum of care and it will help fund some of that and just get shelter beds.”

Representative Marsh said the legislature wants to make it clear they won’t wait to take action on homelessness.

She said the bill will also include some reform for eviction policies as well.

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Former NBC5 News reporter Derek Strom is from Renton, Washington. He recently graduated from the Edward R. Murrow College of Communications at Washington State University with a degree in Broadcast News and a minor in Sports Management. He played in the drumline with the WSU marching band. These days, he plays the guitar and piano. Derek is a devoted fan of the Mariners, Seahawks, and Kraken.
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