Wyden, Merkley: Oregon Communities Will Receive Nearly $13 Million For Emergency Housing Vouchers

Washington, D.C. –  U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today announced that 31 Oregon counties and cities will receive about $12.8 million in federal resources from the American Rescue Plan to provide emergency housing vouchers for individuals and families who are homeless; at risk of homelessness;  fleeing, or trying to flee, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, or human trafficking.

“The economic devastation touched off by this public health crisis has magnified the housing emergency for far too many Oregonians already teetering on a financial tightrope forcing them to balance rent payments against bills for food, medicine and more,” Wyden said. “Housing is a human right and this funding from the American Rescue Plan works to help make that statement a reality by keeping vulnerable Oregonians safe and housed in urban, rural and suburban communities throughout our state.”

 “America was founded on the basic principle that everyone deserves the tools they need to be healthy and thrive. And while we’ve never fully realized that vision, we have a responsibility to do everything we can to move toward it,” said Merkley. “That means building a foundation for success for all Americans—including a place to call home. To that end, I’m grateful that over 30 of Oregon’s counties and cities are receiving emergency housing vouchers, and am fully committed to continuing the fight to secure the resources we need to house everyone in our communities.”

Wyden and Merkley both voted for the American Rescue Plan Act, which among its provisions allowed the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to allocate additional emergency housing vouchers to local public housing agencies.

The $12.84 million in HUD funding will be distributed as follows to Oregon public housing agencies to help them assist individuals and families who are homeless; at risk of homelessness;  fleeing, or trying to flee, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, or human trafficking; or recently homeless:

·       Housing Authority of Clackamas County, $441,912

·       Housing Authority of Portland, $4.65 million

·       Housing Authority of Douglas County, $214,572

·       Housing Authority of Lincoln County, $154,080

·       Housing Authority & Community Services of Lane County, $1.19 million

·       Housing Authority of Umatilla County, $205,044

·       Housing and Urban Renewal Agency of Polk County, $123,156

·       Housing Authority of the City of Salem, $268,908

·       Housing Authority of Jackson County, $451,608

·       Housing Authority of Yamhill County, $455,136

·       Klamath Housing Authority, $248,508

·       Linn-Benton Housing Authority, $1.17 million

·       Coos-Curry Housing Authority, $303,324

·       Housing Authority of Washington County, $962,100

·       Mid-Columbia Housing Authority (Wasco, Hood River and Sherman counties), $123,528

·       Housing Authority of Malheur County, $129,708

·       Northwest Oregon Housing (Clatsop, Columbia and Tillamook counties), $451,680

·       Josephine County Housing Community Development Council, $330,780

·       Northeast Oregon Housing Authority (Union, Baker, Grant, and Wallowa counties), $171,276

·       Central Oregon Regional Housing Authority (Deschutes, Crook and Jefferson counties), $795,012

“The Housing Authority of Jackson County is pleased to learn that soon, our agency will be in receipt of new, Emergency Housing Voucher funding through the American Rescue Plan Act,” said Jason Elzy, Executive Director of Housing Authority of Jackson County. “The Authority will work diligently to place these desperately needed vouchers with eligible households in the Jackson County community.”

“I am pleased HUD has issued these Emergency Housing vouchers because there is a great need in the four counties that we serve, and the new vouchers do not have the waiting list restrictions that the regular Housing Choice voucher program has,” said Sarah Parker, Interim Executive Director of the Northeast Oregon Housing Authority. “What this means to homeless families is that there is help available now for long-term stabilization and not just for a few days or a month.”

“Homes for Good is working tirelessly to address the humanitarian crisis of people experiencing homelessness in Lane County,” said Jacob Fox, Executive Director of Homes for Good. “These new Emergency Housing Vouchers totaling $1.19 million from the American Rescue Plan will help address this humanitarian crisis and was allocated to our community because Senator Wyden and Senator Merkley share a vision of addressing homelessness in Oregon. Thanks to them for delivering on this vision.”  

“Linn-Benton Housing Authority is very excited to receive the funding from the American Rescue Plan for Emergency Housing Vouchers,” said Donna Holt, Executive Director of the Linn-Benton Housing Authority. “We plan to move quickly to get these funds into our community to help assist families and individuals experiencing homelessness and other high level, urgent needs. We are truly grateful to Senators Wyden and Merkley for their efforts in getting these funds into our hard-hit communities.”

“We look forward to this federal investment furthering our partnership with local landlords to address our housing and homelessness challenges throughout the region,” said Joel Madsen, Executive Director of Mid-Columbia Housing Authority.