Portland declares housing emergency

City Council voted to support Mayor Charlie Hales’ request for additional action.

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The Portland City Council voted to support Mayor Charlie Hales’ request for additional action to solve the city’s housing crisis.

Commissioners agreed in a unanimous vote.

“There is obviously an emergency, but we’ve just started to discuss where to find the money to solve it,” Commissioner Amanda Fritz said when voting to support the declaration submitted by Mayor Charlie Hales.

The declaration suspends some regulations on the siting of homeless shelters and the construction of affordable housing projects, although no specific proposals were made during the hearing.

(SOURCE: Portland Tribune)

The council heard hours of testimony from aggrieved renters.

“Let’s acknowledge that this vote in and of itself solves nothing,” Commissioner Nick Fish said Wednesday, adding that he wholeheartedly supports the plan but said it merely gives the city “flexibility” to address the crisis.

Commissioner Amanda Fritz said Portland doesn’t know where’s its $20 million share of the homelessness pledge will come from. “It’s very much a matter of not only, ‘What are we going to do?'” she said before voting, “But ‘How are we going to pay for it?'”

Josh Alpert, Hales’ chief of staff who worked on the strategy, said Portland should be able to do more for the homeless, and faster. “There is no model to follow,” he said, “No playbook.”

(SOURCE: OregonLive.com)

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