Wyden, Merkley: Oregon Counties and Cities to Receive More than $19 Million in Emergency Housing Vouchers

U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley recently announced that 28 counties and two cities in Oregon will receive more than $19 million in emergency housing vouchers through the American Rescue Plan Act.

“Every single Oregonian deserves an affordable and accessible place to call home,” Wyden said. “The economic fallout from the global pandemic has worsened a statewide housing shortage and affordability crisis. These vouchers give local housing authorities critical tools to provide Oregonians with the stability they need to build a life where they can thrive.”

“It’s impossible to thrive without a safe and affordable roof over your head,” Merkley said. “I’ve been pushing for strong responses to meet the housing crisis so many are families are facing, and that have become even more dire during the pandemic, and these grants are a good piece of the solution. I will continue to do all I can to secure the resources we need to weather this pandemic and make sure all of Oregon’s families have a home they can afford.”

These emergency housing vouchers are provided to assist individuals and families who are recently homeless, at risk of homelessness, experiencing long-term homelessness, or fleeing (or attempting to flee) intimate partner violence, sexual assault, stalking, or human trafficking. The American Rescue Plan Act that Wyden and Merkley both voted to support this year allocated emergency housing vouchers to public housing authorities on the basis of population, need, and geographic diversity.

U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) issued vouchers to 626 public housing authorities, for a grand total of $1.14 billion in grants. The Oregon recipients are as follows:

Housing Authority of Portland, $7,183,068

Housing Authority & Community Services of Lane County, $2,179,560

Linn-Benton Housing Authority, $2,103,156

Housing Authority of Washington County, $1,439,952

Coos-Curry Housing Authority, $603,744

Northwest Oregon Housing Authority, $752,652

Klamath Housing Authority, $503,784

Housing Authority of Clackamas County, $657,636

Central Oregon Regional Housing Authority, $1,285,128

Housing Authority of Jackson County, $801,588

Housing Authority of Yamhill County, $714,720

Josephine Housing Community Development Council, $582,576

Housing Authority of Douglas County, $419,280

Housing Authority of the City of Salem, $441,372

Northeast Oregon Housing Authority, $314,700

Housing Authority of Lincoln County, $272,088

Housing Authority of Malheur County, $232,572

Mid-Columbia Housing Authority, $218,652

Housing and Urban Renewal Agency of Polk County, $199,248

“Home Forward is thrilled to accept these 476 Emergency Housing Vouchers,” Michael Buonocore, Executive Director of Home Forward, said. “In collaboration with our local partners, we will put these to good use in ending or preventing the homelessness of hundreds of our neighbors in Multnomah County. We appreciate the ongoing support and advocacy from Senators Wyden and Merkley that helped make this possible.”

“We appreciate Senator Merkley and Senator Wyden’s support for the Emergency Housing Vouchers as part of the American Recovery Plan,” Joel Madsen, Executive Director of the Mid-Columbia Housing Authority, said. “This is an investment in housing stability for some of our most vulnerable community members seeking an affordable place to call home. Prior to the pandemic, housing security and affordable was already out of reach for all too many. As we work together to stop the spread of covid-19 and focus on more equitable opportunities we need investments like this that advance public private partnerships and leverage existing resources. Thank you to our great Senators for helping to prioritize federal investments in affordable housing solutions.”

“Central City Concern (CCC) applauds the American Rescue Plan funds – Emergency Housing Vouchers (EHV) distributed by HUD to Oregon’s local Housing Authorities,” Gary Cobb, Community Outreach Coordinator of Central City Concern, said. “In Portland, this will be lifechanging and lifesaving, to thousands of Portlanders. The folks we serve at Central City Concern that access the EHV’s, will get safety and stability, while they engage in critical wrap around services of Primary Care, Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder treatment.”

“These vouchers will be used to house families facing homelessness in Union, Baker, Grant and Wallowa Counties,” Sarah Parker, Executive Director of Northeast Oregon Housing Authority said. “This new funding will allow our agency and Community Partners to work together to facilitate an expedited leasing process to assist our most vulnerable residents.”

The Housing Authority of Jackson County is pleased to receive funding for the Emergency Housing Voucher Program,” Jason Elzy, Executive Director of the Housing Authority of Jackson County, said. “We’re looking forward to collaborating with the Jackson County Continuum of Care and our very important community service partners to bring this new program online this summer, and to provide this highly needed rental assistance in our community. We’re grateful for the support provided by Senator Wyden and Senator Merkley and all of their endeavors to address the Southern Oregon housing crisis.”

“The housing need in Clackamas County was exacerbated by the pandemic,” Clackamas County Commissioner Sonya Fischer said. “These vouchers are coming at just the right time, and can be used immediately to ensure our most vulnerable residents are stably housed.”