Governor Kotek also Released Additional Details on $130 Million Homelessness Proposal
Salem, OR—[Salem, OR] — On her first full day in office today, Governor Tina Kotek signed three executive orders aimed at tackling the state’s housing and homelessness crisis: setting an ambitious state target to increase home construction; declaring a homelessness state of emergency; and directing state agencies to prioritize reducing homelessness in all areas of the state.
Executive Order No. 23-04 establishes a statewide housing production goal of 36,000 per year and creates the Housing Production Advisory Council to develop comprehensive budget and policy recommendations to meet that goal. That represents an 80 percent increase over recent construction trends, and it will take an ongoing commitment from local, state, federal, nonprofit, and private sectors to move toward this target.
“This housing construction goal is ambitious because Oregonians are demanding bold solutions to address this crisis,” said Governor Kotek. “I set this target to reflect the level of the need that exists, knowing that we will not get there overnight, or even in one year. But we will ramp up over time and keep pushing for partnerships that will increase housing construction as much as possible to start meeting the needs of more Oregonians.”
View Executive Order No. 23-04 here.
Executive Order No. 23-02 declares a state of emergency due to homelessness in regions of the state that have experienced an increase in unsheltered homelessness of 50% or more from 2017 to 2022:
• Portland Metro region (50.4%);
• Central Oregon (86%);
• Eugene, Springfield/Lane County (110%);
• Medford, Ashland/Jackson County (132%); and
• Salem/Marion, Polk Counties (150%).
Oregon has the fourth-highest rate of unsheltered homelessness in the country and the highest rate of unsheltered homelessness for families with children.
View Executive Order No. 23-02 here.
Working in tandem with Executive Order No. 23-02, Executive Order No. 23-03 directs state agencies to prioritize reducing both sheltered and unsheltered homelessness in all areas of the state—not solely those in which a state of emergency has been declared—using their existing statutory authorities.
View Executive Order No. 23-03 here.
In her inaugural address yesterday, Governor Kotek also proposed an urgent $130 million investment that will help at least another 1,200 Oregonians who are experiencing unsheltered homelessness move off the streets within a year; expand shelter capacity by 600 beds; and prevent homelessness for more than 8,000 households.
She urged the legislature to start the 2023 legislative session by taking up this investment package as quickly as possible, and to build upon it with a comprehensive housing and homelessness package by the end of the session.
“People are currently becoming homeless faster than we have been able to rehouse people living outside. We must do all we can to address and prevent homelessness so we can make progress toward not just ending homelessness for individual families, but for communities across the state,” said Governor Tina Kotek. “This is only the first step and it is going to take collaboration and commitment across local, state, federal, nonprofit, and private sectors to make sure we are acting at the scale and urgency this humanitarian crisis demands.”