Portland City Council approves federal funds for homeless, other services
The Portland City Council has unanimously approved spending over $63 million in uncommitted federal American Rescue Act funds.
All five members of the council on Wednesday, July 28, praised the work done by city staff and community partners to prioritize the spending. A citizen advisory committee helped shape the final package.
The money will go to multiple city bureaus for specific purposes. The highest priority was preventing and reducing homelessness.
The largest single amount was be just over $16 million to the Bureau of Revenue and Financial Services for the six managed homeless camps, known as Safe Rest Villages, proposed by Commissioner Dan Ryan and previously approved by the council. A committee is currently working to select the sites from a list of over 70 properties submitted by various bureaus.
Additional priorities include gun violence prevention and trash removal.
Other large amounts include:
• $6.2 million to the Portland Housing Bureau for eviction prevention and defense.
• $5.1 million to the Portland-Multnomah County Joint Office of Homeless Services for COVID-19-related services.
• $4.3 million to the Chief Administrative Officer for housing stabilization.
• $4 million to the Bureau of Revenue and Financial Services for household assistance.
• $4 million to the Bureau of Revenue and Financial Services for workforce training and employment for vulnerable Portlanders.
• $3.5 million to the Office of Community Technology to help bridge the digital divide.
• $2.6 million to the Portland Water Bureau for utility relief for low-income customers.
• $2.56 million to the Portland Bureau of Transportation for a project titled Vibrant and Inclusive Community Spaces.
"Over half of the resources being allocated are going toward housing stabilization or services for people experiencing houselessness. The largest allocation is first year funding of $16.8 million for Alternative Houseless Interventions, with an estimated $31 million in future federal funding to be allocated over the next two fiscal years. It is important to note that this program sets up ongoing services that are currently unfunded," reads the City Budget Office analysis.
The council also will consider adding more than $40 million to help balance the current approved fiscal year 2021-22 budget.
Altogether, the city expects to receive almost $208 million in rescue act funds over two years.
A previous Portland Tribune story on the Safe Rest Villages can be found here.
More information about the spending request can be found at the city's webpage on this week's council agenda here.
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