Columbia County will share in approximately $12.8 million in pandemic relief funding for emergency housing.
U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley announce that Columbia County is one of 30 counties and cities that will receive the federal resources from the American Rescue Plan.
Columbia, Tillamook and Clatsop Counties are expected to receive $451,680.
The funding is designed to provide emergency housing vouchers for individuals and families who are homeless; at risk of homelessness; fleeing, or trying to flee, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, or human trafficking.
“I am pleased HUD has issued these emergency housing vouchers because there is a great need in the four counties that we serve, and the new vouchers do not have the waiting list restrictions that the regular Housing Choice voucher program has,” Northeast Oregon Housing Authority Interim Executive Director Sarah Parker said. “What this means to homeless families is that there is help available now for long-term stabilization and not just for a few days or a month.”
The Northeast Oregon Housing Authority serves Columbia, Tillamook and Clatsop Counties.
“The economic devastation touched off by this public health crisis has magnified the housing emergency for far too many Oregonians already teetering on a financial tightrope forcing them to balance rent payments against bills for food, medicine and more,” Wyden said. “Housing is a human right and this funding from the American Rescue Plan works to help make that statement a reality by keeping vulnerable Oregonians safe and housed in urban, rural and suburban communities throughout our state.”
“America was founded on the basic principle that everyone deserves the tools they need to be healthy and thrive. And while we’ve never fully realized that vision, we have a responsibility to do everything we can to move toward it,” said Merkley. “That means building a foundation for success for all Americans—including a place to call home. To that end, I’m grateful that over 30 of Oregon’s counties and cities are receiving emergency housing vouchers, and am fully committed to continuing the fight to secure the resources we need to house everyone in our communities.”
Wyden and Merkley both voted for the American Rescue Plan Act, which among its provisions allowed the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to allocate additional emergency housing vouchers to local public housing agencies.
The $12.84 million in HUD funding will be distributed as follows to Oregon public housing agencies to help them assist individuals and families who are homeless; at risk of homelessness; fleeing, or trying to flee, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, or human trafficking; or recently homeless.