PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A regional supportive housing effort funded permanent housing for more than 1,600 people over the last year, which is about 25% of the homeless population in the tri-county area, according to a report by Metro.

The initiative helped those experiencing “chronic homelessness” get permanent housing. It also allowed 514 year-round shelter beds be added across the metro area.

Along with that, the program provided rental assistance to more than 9,200 people facing eviction and possibly prevented them from losing their homes.

“Back in January, I promised the region that we would see tangible progress on homelessness within six months,” said Metro Council President Lynn Peterson. “We’ve made huge strides. In the first year of a 10-year effort, we’re well on our way to our goal. This is what happens when we collaborate as a region.”

Housing efforts amped up in the last few months, with officials saying the number of people housed in the last quarter nearly matched the number housed in the first three quarters combined.

In addition to funding housing and rental assistance services, the counties used program funding to support outreach and engagement services in their communities. According to Metro, 159 people found jobs through new employment programs.

Funding for this program comes from an initiative voters in Multnomah, Clackamas and Washington counties approved back in May of 2020. The 10-year program has been in effect for over a year after launching in July 2021.

The three counties will release annual fund reports and present them to an oversight committee later this year, so committee and county officials can address gaps in the program and make improvements.

The regional supportive housing fund is among several programs tackling the housing crisis impacting the metro area. A 2018 program, the Metro affordable housing bond program, has reportedly funded 1,400 fixed-rent apartments under construction, 1,600 in permitting and design, and 265 have already opened.

The full report can be found on the Metro website here.