REMARKS AS PREPARED
August 14, 2018
Hello, I’m Governor Kate Brown. My goal as governor is to make sure that every Oregonian has an opportunity to thrive. That means ensuring everyone has a warm safe affordable place to call home.
I’m so pleased to be here at Cornerstone to celebrate making this possible for 180 more Oregonian families. This is in part thanks to so many here today. Our elected officials, Senator Jackie Winters, and Mayor Chuck Bennett. The City of Salem is doing great work in dedicating resources to provide affordable housing to residents. They are really focusing on getting people off the street, into permanent housing, and connected to the services they need to succeed.
We are fortunate to have such strong community partners from Mountain West and Community Resource Trust. And thanks to Oregon Housing and Community Services, including the chair of the housing stability council Val Valfre and director Margaret Salazar.
Lots of folks from across the country are learning what we have known for a long time: Oregon is a great place to live. Our state has grown at a rapid pace over the last decade, which brings more vibrancy to our communities and to our economy.
But with growth comes growing pains, which we feel most acutely as working families try to find a home that is right for them. Homes near their jobs and schools.
Homes that are more than just four walls and a roof, with rents that don’t mean choosing which bill to pay, or what to do without this month.
When we can do this for one family, children do better in school, and parents do better at work, or can look for better work.
When we can do this for 180 families, a community grows stronger.
When we can do this in every community, our state prospers.
And Cornerstone is a great example of the kind of project that we need more of in Oregon.
This week, we announced funding for the development and preservation of 796 affordable homes across the state. Through the collaboration, state, local and federal partners, and leveraging private investment, we’ve been able to bring the total of affordable homes under development in the state housing pipeline to 7,800.
Today we’re opening the first Local Innovation and Fast Track (LIFT) homes—180 units of that 7,800.
This is a huge stride forward for Oregon. That’s why housing is a key component of my plan to make Oregon’s economy grow, and why we are targeting our investments where they make the biggest impact, at the local level, in communities large and small.
While Oregon steps up our investments in housing, it is critical that the federal government continues to do its part.
No one can end homelessness alone. We need a coordinated response that brings together everyone who has a role and ability to make a difference in their communities, including philanthropic partners, employers and business leaders, and all levels of government to get people quickly off the street and into permanent homes.
Cornerstone is a prime example of that coordination. It also came together with the kind of creative financing I’d like to see across the state, leveraging the most out of available local, federal and state dollars. It’s focused on people as well as the place, on the life that happens in a space. There is a community garden, playgrounds, and community spaces. Residents will have access to case management, and coaching on life skills like budgeting and food preparation, and literacy and GED programs.
Because creating homes isn’t just about buildings—it’s about building our families up.
I’m looking forward to seeing thousands more Oregonians having the same opportunity.
Thank you, and welcome home!