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PNS Daily Newscast - October 29, 2020 

Trump supporters left to battle frigid temperatures in Omaha; absentee ballots surge in Tennessee.

2020Talks - October 29, 2020 

The Supreme Court blocks North Carolina and Pennsylvania Republicans from requiring ballots to be delivered by Election Day. And a Texas court is requiring masks at polling places.

OR Homeless Report Opens a Door at the State House?

June 4, 2009

Salem, OR – A 35 percent jump in Oregon's homeless population is a startling statistic, from a state report that shows most of those without homes are families and the number of homeless school-aged children has almost doubled, to nearly 16,000. The findings are part of a One-Night Homeless Count, performed by workers from Oregon Housing and Community Services.

The state's heavy job losses get the blame, as well as an overall lack of affordable housing. The loss of mobile home parks is also noted in the report, although manufactured housing is part of what's considered affordable.

According to the Community and Shelter Assistance Corporation of Oregon (CASA), the homeless figures bring new urgency to SB 5535, a legislative proposal to issue lottery-backed bonds to help the residents of manufactured home parks form co-ops and buy the land they've been renting.

CASA's Executive Director, Peter Hainley, calls it a small public investment to stabilize the lives of some Oregonians who are at the highest risk of homelessness.

"Most of them are seniors, lower-income folks, and so, it really presents an affordable housing option. It's home ownership. They can feel like they live in a community of other homeowners."

Manufactured home parks have become a staple of affordable housing in Oregon, explains Hainley, but recent years of land speculation have led to some residents being given the boot.

"Since 1995, we've had over 70 parks that have closed, and that represents probably 3,000 families being displaced from their homes."

Opponents of the proposal want lottery money to go to other state projects. If the bill passes, just over $19 million in bonds would be issued - money that Hainley says could keep thousands in their homes during the economic downturn.

Deb Courson, Public News Service - OR