Housing and homelessness are front of mind for communities nationally. In the first week of November, residents in nearly every region considered ballot measures to fund affordable housing and homeless services. We are happy to report that cities across the country voted ‘yes’ to investments in affordable housing and servicesWith communities choosing compassionate solutions, more families and individuals will be able to stay in their homes and neighborhoods.

The largest investment in housing and services came out of our neighbor city, Seattle. A new Affordable Housing Levy passed with 69% of voters approving a property tax to invest nearly $1 billion in housing construction and services over seven years. Joining Seattle, voters in Albuquerque, Phoenix, Boulder CountySteamboat Springs, and Whitefish, all voted ‘yes’ to investments in affordable housing and housing stabilization services.

Locally, all three counties released their annual reports on the outcomes of programs funded by the Supportive Housing Services Measure (SHS). SHS is a 1% marginal tax on high-income earners. In Washington County, SHS funding housed or prevented homelessness for 2,522 people. In Clackamas County, 1,308 people were housed or avoided eviction with SHS funds. And in Multnomah County, 6.698 people avoided eviction or were housed with these public dollars. That’s over 10,000 people served across our three counties in a year. And our regional voter-passed initiative makes this possible. Thank you voters! 

Even with these successes, we know our region’s need for expanded affordable housing options persists and we need continued public investment to further our progress. To address our housing shortage, we will continue to advocate for public investment in affordable housing.