PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Multnomah County Chair Jessica Vega Pederson announced Thursday she is using her executive authority expand shelters, behavioral health, and housing services approved by the Board of Commissioners.

The move includes the approval of emergency contract awards to speed up funding distribution after the board voted to allocate $50 million in unanticipated Supportive Housing Services revenue and $12 million in federal COVID-19 funds.

Overall, Vega Pederson’s plan will add 573 shelter beds for adults, youth, and families — including expansion of village-style shelters.

Her shelter plan includes $16 million for the City of Portland to fund the next two Temporary Alternative Shelter Sites, startup costs for Barbie’s Village planned for NE Portland, and an additional eight shelter units for people in substance use recovery at Cascadia Clusters.

The county chair is also boosting capacity for behavioral health, stabilization, and housing services, including short- and long-term housing programs in Gresham, transitional housing for people leaving substance use disorder treatment, and funding for Rose Haven and Blanchet House to grow their services.

Vega Pederson announced she will also expand emergency housing and legal services to prevent evictions — including emergency rental assistance.

“I’m using executive authority to drive action and change on the ground so we’re making sure our investments reach the people who need them the most right now,” Vega Pederson said. “I’ve directed each division to bring urgency to the contracting and distribution process, and proactively and productively clear hurdles to help providers reach the outcomes we know are possible.”