Despite significant public pushback, the Portland City Council adopted an ordinance in the summer of 2023 allowing people to be ticketed and face jail time for having tents set up during the day. On November 9th a Multnomah County Judge halted the enforcement of the ordinance in response to a lawsuit filed by five unhoused Portlanders and the Oregon Law Center. Judge Ghandour’s recent ruling pauses the city’s ability to enforce the ordinance until the lawsuit concludes.

We know our criminal justice system is not designed to support people experiencing homelessness in their transition into housing – fines and jail time will only increase barriers to housing. Penalizing people in already dire circumstances only undermines progress towards stable housing. 

 As a coalition of advocates working to expand investments in housing, we want our elected leaders and voters to focus on policies that have measurable outcomes for the health and well-being of our communities. Smart solutions such as investments in long-term rent assistance, affordable housing construction, and eviction prevention have measurable impacts in our region.

Let’s be a region that continues to choose compassion and uplifts bold policies to expand housing opportunities for all.