Homelessness State of Emergency

From HousingWiki


Los Angeles - September 2015

Jamison, Peter, and David Zahniser, Matt Hamilton. "L.A. to declare ‘state of emergency’ on homelessness, commit $100 million." LA Times, Sept 22 2015. https://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-homeless-funding-proposals-los-angeles-20150921-story.html:

"Acknowledging their failure to stem a surge in homelessness, Los Angeles’ elected leaders on Tuesday said they would declare a 'state of emergency' and devote up to $100 million to the problem. But they offered few details about where the money would come from or how it would be spent, leaving some to question the effort’s chances of success. "

The announcement by seven City Council members and Mayor Eric Garcetti was a powerful signal of growing alarm at City Hall over L.A.’s homeless population, which has risen 12% since 2013, the year Garcetti took office. It coincided with a directive from the mayor Monday evening that the city free up an additional $13 million in the coming months to help house people living on the streets. "

Some lawmakers assert that their proposed declaration — which the council must still vote to approve — would allow the city to ease restrictions on churches and nonprofit groups sheltering the homeless and speed up the permitting process for builders of affordable housing. They pointed to a state law that allows the city to declare a 'shelter crisis' and use public facilities such as parks or schools as emergency housing."

Hawaii - October 2015

Gov. David Ige expanded the declaration in 2018, suspending a variety of state statutes in order to help the state cope with its homelessness crisis.







VanderHart, Dirk. "Speaker Tina Kotek: Oregon Should Declare A Homelessness State Of Emergency." Oregon Public Broadcasting, Jan. 10, 2020

"Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek says Oregon’s crisis of unsheltered homelessness has reached emergency status.

"So as she prepares to push an ambitious funding proposal in next month’s legislative session, the Portland Democrat is mulling a remarkable option: A statewide emergency declaration that would allow cities around the state to more easily site homeless shelters...

"Kotek is currently researching what it would take for Oregon to declare a state of emergency, and what the outcomes could be, she said. Her hope is that the entire state could follow the lead of Portland, which in 2015 declared a housing emergency that allowed city agencies and nonprofit providers to more easily put homeless shelters on plots of land not zoned for such a use.

“'That’s what I would be recommending,' Kotek said. 'I don’t want them to get hung up on traditional zoning and site permitting when they need to get a shelter established.

"The House speaker, known for pushing housing policy, is not stopping there. She said she’ll press her fellow lawmakers to allocate up to $100 million in one-time money that could be spent expanding shelter capacity in Oregon. Securing that much cash could be a big lift in an even-year 'short session,' where new funds are limited.."

Kotek also wants to establish 'navigation centers' in Eugene and Salem. That model offers low-barrier shelter, case-management and services to unsheltered people all in one facility.

"And Kotek hopes to commission a study that could lay the groundwork for a state voucher system to help poorer people pay for housing.

“'I think we just have to step up and do something more dramatic,' she said.

"Kotek drew some conclusions about Oregon’s needs from a statewide shelter study issued by the state’s Department of Housing and Community Services. Released last August, the report painted a dire picture of the state’s ability to offer people experiencing homelessness a safe, warm place to sleep."

Sand, Kaia. "Yes to declaring a statewide emergency on homelessness." Street Roots, 17 Jan 2020. https://news.streetroots.org/2020/01/17/yes-declaring-statewide-emergency-homelessness.

See: "Oregon Statewide Shelter Study"(PDF 3MB, 2019). by Technical Assistance Collaborative, Boston, for State of Oregon, Department of Housing and Commmunity Services.  

"TAC conducted structured interviews with 15 key stakeholders with a state level perspective as identified by OHCS. TAC conducted these interviews via telephone and in-person between January 23 and February 15, 2019.

Table 2: Stakeholder Interviews

Doug Carlson - Community Planning & Development, Oregon HUD
Annette Evans - Washington County
Sybil Hebb - Oregon Law Center
Molly Heiss - Neighbor Impact (CAA)
Barb Higginbotham - Community in Action (CAA)
Marc Jolin - Multnomah County Joint Office of Homeless Services
Jimmy Jones - Mid-Willamette Valley Community Action (CAA)
Steve Manela - Lane County Human Services
Representative Pam Marsh - Oregon Legislature
Janet Merrell - Community Action Partnership of Oregon
Matthew Rasmussen - Oregon Department of Human Services
Margaret Salazar - Oregon Housing and Community Services
Claire Seguin - Oregon Housing and Community Services
Vanessa Timmons - Oregon Coalition Against Domestic & Sexual Violence
Jim Walker - Oregon State Fire Marshall."