The Portland Housing Bureau (PHB), together with the Joint Office of Homeless Services, Multnomah County Mental Health & Addiction Services, and Oregon Housing and Community Services, have announced more than $12 million in joint funding for project proposals that combine housing and mental health services in targeted effort to combat chronic homelessness.
The funding opportunity marks the first time funding to build affordable housing has been bundled with funding for the services residents will need to thrive in that housing. It also marks a first-of-its-kind partnership with the state.
“This innovative pilot is the first of its kind—leveraging state, county and city partnerships in a targeted effort to better use our dollars to address chronic homelessness, with an emphasis on providing crucial mental health services” says Mayor Wheeler. “Homelessness is a national humanitarian crisis. It will take more than cities—but regional, state-wide and federal partnerships to solve it.”
“Some people need more than an apartment key to rebuild their lives. They also need treatment and services,” says Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury. “For those neighbors, the only answer to homelessness is a home of their own with the right support. This is exactly what this project represents, because nobody should have to deal with their crisis in full view of strangers.”
People experiencing mental health disabilities are the fastest growing segment of the population experiencing homelessness in Multnomah County.
PHB’s Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA), released today, calls on the development community and service providers for proposals that find cost efficiencies, demonstrate innovative design, and integrate support services in projects focused on homeless individuals experiencing mental illness.
Expanding Permanent Supportive Housing over the coming decade—by roughly 200 units a year—is a critical element of the local strategy to address chronic homelessness. Permanent Supportive Housing combines accessible, affordable housing and the supportive services, including mental health and addiction services. By packaging construction capital and support services funding together for the first time, the City and its partners hope to achieve a minimum of 50 PSH units through this pilot.
More importantly, they hope to encourage creative proposals for a replicable, cost-effective model that can be used to continue expanding Supportive Housing options, with a focus on projects that update the single-room occupancy (SRO) concept.
“The need for more permanent supportive housing exists across the entire state. And we know that it works. With that in mind, Oregon Housing and Community Services is thrilled to contribute $2 million to the City of Portland’s efforts to increase supportive housing and end homelessness and housing instability for Oregon’s most vulnerable community members,” said Margaret Salazar, Director of Oregon Housing and Community Services.
SUMMER 2018 AFFORDABLE RENTAL HOUSING NOTICE OF FUNDING AVAILABILITY (NOFA)
- Portland Housing Bureau - $10 million capital funding
- Oregon Housing and Community Services - $2 million from Mental Health Housing Fund
- Joint Office of Homeless Services & Multnomah County Mental Health & Addiction Services - $350K per year for services funding
Source: City of Portland