PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Gov. Tina Kotek has pledged to tackle the homeless crisis in Oregon and is willing to spend money to make it happen. But Kotek has decided to hold out handing over millions of dollars to Multnomah and Clackamas counties and to the cities of Portland and Gresham.
Portland and Multnomah County, the governor said Monday, have not done a good enough job explaining where the state money would go.
When she took office in January, Kotek declared a homeless state of emergency. Lawmakers quickly approved hundred of millions of dollars to help get people into permanent housing.
Monday, the governor released how much money each county will get — and what she expects taxpayers will get for their money.
But leaders in Portland and Gresham plus Multnomah and Clackamas counties were told they’re not getting the millions they asked for.
“I was disappointed that they didn’t have more clarity,” the governor said. “I sat through several meetings trying to understand existing capacity, who’s paying for what, where does the money come from, what’s the city committed to, what’s the county committed to? They need to get their stuff together.”
Portland planned to use the money for more than 100 shelter beds and housing for about 350 households.
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler’s office told KOIN 6 News they are reworking their proposal and will resubmit it for the $18 million they requested.
“We will work in partnership with the Multnomah County-led Multi-Agency Coordinating (MAC) group on an updated revision. Both the City and the County are each responsible for different parts of an overall solution and we must show a clear strategy on how to best deliver those services with the allotted state emergency funding,” Wheeler said in a statement.
The mayor’s office also said they “actually have not seen the final proposal that the County sent to the Governor’s office.”
Kotek plans to meet with Wheeler and Multnomah County Chair Jessica Vega Pederson on Tuesday.