SALEM, Ore. — Oregon Housing and Community Services Director Andrea Bell and Eugene Mayor Lucy Vinis announced that Oregon Governor Brown and Mayor Vinis have joined U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)’s House America: An All-Hands-On-Deck Effort to Address the Nation’s Homelessness Crisis. The announcement was made today at the opening celebration for The Nel, a permanent supportive housing community for people experiencing chronic homelessness in Eugene.
“Housing is a critical determinant of health, that has never been more evident. At the local, state, and federal levels, we must take every action necessary to work towards ensuring the people of Oregon have a safe and affordable place to call home,” Director Bell said. “That is our commitment and collective responsibility.”
OHCS and other House America partners will work with HUD and the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness to use federal, state, and local resources to help reach national goals. The House America partnership aims to re-house at least 100,000 households experiencing homelessness nationwide and add at least 20,000 new affordable homes into the development pipeline by Dec. 31, 2022.
Oregon is committing to re-house 3,500 people and fund the creation of 214 permanent supportive homes by the end of 2022, including small towns and rural communities in the state. The City of Eugene commits, by the end of 2022, to adding 152 units to their housing development pipeline that will serve people exiting homelessness, an additional 47 units for extremely low-income households, and is committed to re-housing 45 households from homelessness into housing.
HUD’s 2021 Annual Homeless Assessment Report found 9,048 sheltered and unsheltered homeless individuals in Oregon, 2,317 of whom were in Lane County. COVID-19 has created greater urgency to address homelessness, given the heightened risks faced by people experiencing homelessness.
“Secretary Fudge and I are thrilled to have the State of Oregon and City of Eugene signing on to House America,” said HUD Regional Administrator Margaret Salazar. “Oregon and Eugene have been at the forefront of affordable housing development at a national level, and it makes sense that they would leverage their expertise and innovation as part of this initiative. They join two other House America communities in Oregon – Washington County and Bend – and their commitment to getting more people indoors is what House America is all about.”
Through the American Rescue Plan, communities now have historic resources—70,000 emergency housing vouchers and $5 billion in HOME Investment Partnerships grants—to help more Americans obtain the safety of a stable home. In Eugene, HUD awarded 184 Emergency Housing Vouchers and $4,728,637 in HUD HOME Investment Partnerships Program funding, a resource that can be used to achieve Eugene’s housing goals.
“The City of Eugene is pleased to sign onto this important initiative. We look forward to working with HUD and the other House America partners to continue our work towards addressing the homelessness crisis, making homelessness in our community, and across America, rare, brief and non-recurring,” said Mayor Vinis.
The Nel fits within Oregon’s House America target goals by creating 45 studio apartments where there will be on-site property management and supportive services. As a Permanent Supportive Housing Program, The Nel will feature services aimed at helping people stay permanently housed, such as case management, health care, connections to employment and educational services, and assistance with independent living skills.
More than 100 states, cities, counties, and Tribes have joined House America to date. For more information visit the HUD House America website.