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Despite “Ten-Year” Plans, Oregon Homeless Numbers Increase

January 19, 2009

Portland, OR – The number of homeless people across Oregon has risen nearly nine percent over the past two years. A new report by the National Alliance to End Homelessness says the increase has been greatest in rural areas around such places as Bend, Redmond, and Medford, and in the rural parts of Lane County in the west central part of the state. This increase has come despite state and federal ten-year plans to help alleviate the problem.

Michael Anderson, with the Oregon Opportunity Network, says it's not just individuals who end up homeless.

"The main group of new homeless in Oregon is families with children, school-age children."

While Portland and some other communities in the state have seen a decrease in homelessness, thanks to intensified efforts to provide affordable housing, Anderson says those efforts could be short-lived.

"Oregon doesn't have the same stable funding at the state level for affordable housing that many states do across the country."

Anderson says the Oregon legislature is considering a new 15-dollar fee on home sales; the revenue would go towards affordable housing, to help prevent homelessness.

Read the report on the Oregon Housing Alliance web site, at
www.oregonhousingalliance.org

Bruce Kennedy, Public News Service - OR