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The City of Portland, Oregon

Homelessness Toolkit

City of Portland

FAQ: State of Emergency

WHAT DOES THE CITY’S STATE OF EMERGENCY ON HOUSING AND HOMELESSNESS DO?

Portland City Council declared a State of Emergency on October 7, 2015. Because the number of unsheltered people outnumber the number of available indoor bed spaces, and the continual rise of rent coupled with a rapidly growing population of new Portlanders, Council decided that new tools are necessary to address the crisis.

The State of Emergency allows the City to expedite permitting and siting for shelters and for building more affordable housing units — a both costly and time-consuming processes. The declaration allows for waiving certain procurement processes and, on a case-by-case basis, portions of the zoning and building codes.

Additionally, the declaration gives the City the ability to closely examine existing barriers to moving people from the street into permanent housing and begin the process of making permanent code changes to increase investment in addressing homelessness after the State of Emergency is lifted.