PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — On Wednesday night, Portland City Council voted to extend the citywide housing state of emergency for three more years.

The decision comes as the city tries to figure out a more permanent solution to the housing crisis.

In the meeting, Commissioner Dan Ryan explained a change in city code intended to end the emergency has fallen short of expectations. He said his bureau needs more time to arrange additional code changes, but the emergency declaration is necessary for existing projects to continue. 

The housing state of emergency declaration gives the city flexibility when it comes to zoning. Portland’s zoning code does not allow mass shelters on industrial property, but with the extension the city says it can bypass those zoning laws to build shelters​

Commissioner Mingus Mapps voted for the extension but said doing so indicates deeper issues.

“This is the sixth time this housing emergency has been extended,” said Mapps. “To me, that points to the need for deeper structural change in how we go about organizing our attempts to address houselessness.” 

The council voted unanimously to extend the emergency for three years. The last extension took place a year ago in March.

Earlier this month, Mayor Ted Wheeler used his own emergency powers to create a new homeless service hub to streamline city efforts.

Meanwhile, homeless advocates denounce the mayor’s plans which include the creation of mass shelters that could house up to 1,000 people saying that’s not a permanent solution.