One of the key goals in Portland and Multnomah County's 10-Year Plan to End Homelessness is the creation of 2,200 permanent supportive housing units for chronically homeless individuals and homeless families with special needs. The theory behind the 10-Year Plan is that by concentrating resources on permanent supportive housing now, we free up resources that can be used to more effectively prevent and address homelessness. Individuals and families experiencing chronic homelessness cycle through the homeless services system, hospitals, corrections, and emergency services--at a high cost to taxpayers. Permanent supportive housing has been proven to help chronically homeless people get off the streets permanently.
The 10-Year Plan to End Homelessness calls for 1,600 units of PSH for chronically homeless single adults and 600 units of PSH for homeless families with special needs by 2015. About half of these units (1,200) are expected to be developed through new construction or acquisition and rehab of existing buildings. The other half (1,000) will come from existing units--both affordable and private market units--that will be reprogrammed as permanent supportive housing by attaching rent subsidies and services.
For more information on Portland's commitment to permanent supportive housing, view the "10-Year Plan to End Homelessness in Portland and Multnomah County".
Portland's Permanent Supportive Housing Project
The City partners with Portland's affordable housing developers to achieve the permanent supportive housing goals outlined in the 10-Year Plan. This approach is unique to Portland as nationally, Community Development Corporations (CDCs) are not primary developers of permanent supportive housing. However, given the capacity of our local CDC industry, the City's close partnership with these organizations helps achieve its permanent supportive housing agenda.
Between September 2005 and September 2006, the Community Development Network (the region's trade association for affordable housing developers) convened a diverse group of stakeholders to analyze what it will take to successfully implement permanent supportive housing in Portland. The project brought together representatives from local affordable housing developers, the Housing Development Center, homeless services providers, the Portland Housing Bureau, Portland Development Commission, Housing Authority of Portland, and the County to:
- Analyze the resources and systems changes needed in order to achieve the permanent supportive housing goals in the 10-Year Plan
- Research models and best practices for successful and sustainable permanent supportive housing projects
- Convene workgroups to identify the barriers to successfully implementing permanent supportive housing in Portland and problem-solve to address these barriers; and
- Develop a permanent supportive housing toolkit for practitioners to support the development and operation of successful projects