As advocates working to center those most impacted by the housing crisis, we commit to continuing to push back on policies that detract from addressing the root causes of homelessness and seek to make living outside illegal – watch us, along with other housing advocates speak on NBC News about Portland’s camping ban and the national increase in policies that criminalize homelessness. We’d like to take a moment to share the successes in housing we have seen across our region. With local leaders pushing for policies that criminalize homelessness, it is vital to uplift the solutions that address the root cause of homelessness by providing expanded housing options and supportive housing services.

Thanks to the Metro Housing Bond, as of May 9th, 837 units are completed with another 2,555 units in the construction pipeline. With 40% of the funding remaining the bond is projected to exceed its initial goal by 800 units.

The Portland Housing Bond has also surpassed the initial goal of 1,300 affordable units – creating 559 more affordable units than initially promised to voters.

Many of these units include wrap-around services funded by the Supportive Housing Service Measure (SHS). In the last 21 months, this tax has allowed 3,748 people to transition into permanent housing, prevented eviction for 10,587 households, and created 1,290 shelter beds in all three counties. 

To capture the result of this funding, Metro Government has compiled stories of our neighbors impacted by SHS programs in their new project, “My Place in the World.” We hope you take a moment to review these stories.

Despite these successes, recent reports show that over 50% of Multnomah County’s SHS funding for the past quarter went unspent. With so many people who need these essential services, the county needs to act swiftly to remedy the bottleneck in funding dispersal. Among other systems improvements, we know that a thriving workforce is essential to the dispersal of funding. This spring, over 360 community members sent letters to local officials asking for increased wages for community-based organizations contracting with government agencies to provide services addressing our housing crisis.