Staff with the city’s A Home For Everyone initiative said they have run out of money this year for several key programs, include short-term cash assistance to help families facing eviction or trying to move into a new place.
“Our providers are reporting that the increasing demand and escalating cost per household has left them entirely spent out of their rent assistance dollars, with four months left to go in this fiscal year,” said Mark Jolin, the A Home For Everyone initiative director.
Commissioner Nick Fish argued that those short-term payments can save the city money in the long run.
The council also allocated emergency funding for legal aid services for tenants facing eviction, and to fast track new shelter operations. The city has committed to adding 650 shelter beds in 18 months, and is in talks with several churches about making new shelter space available.
In Portland, more than 4,000 people a night are sleeping outdoors or in homeless shelters, and an additional 12,000 are sleeping doubled up in homes or living with friends and do not have a permanent place to stay.
The Multnomah County Commission will also vote Thursday on increasing its spending on housing aid this year, for programs that help domestic violence victims, youth, and families.